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The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. 

STUDIES FOR 1890-91. 

An Outline History of England. Joy $1 00 

Our English. Hill 60 

From Chaucer to Tennyson. Beers 1 00 

Walks and Talks in the Geological Field. (Illustrated.) Winchell 1 00 

History of the Church in America. Hurst 40 

French Literature in English. Wilkinson 1 00 







C. L. S. C. Department 

ISO Fifth Avenue 


The required books of the C. L. S. C. are recommended by 
a Council of six. It must, however, be understood that recom- 
mendation does not involve an approval by the Council, or by 
any member of it, of every principle or doctrine contained in the 
book recommended, 

Pa, 3:i 



Copyright, 1890, by Hunt & Eaton, 150 Fifth Avenue, New York. 


It is of prime importance that the books of the Chautau- 
qua Reading Course should be clear, concise, and accurate. 
The author has endeavored to comply with this threefold 
requirement in this Outline History of England. The story 
of the growth of Britain, England, and the British Empire 
has been compressed within narrow limits, but there has 
been no sacrifice of clearness, or of scrupulous fidelity to the 

The author makes no pretensions to originality of research, 
and small claim to freshness of statement. He would grate- 
fully acknowledge assistance received from many sources ; 
would especially own his debt to the following works : A 
Short Geography of the British Isles, by J. R. and Alice S. 
Green ; Story of Early Britain, by Alfred J. Church ; The 
Normans in Europe, by A. H. Johnson ; The Early Planta- 
genetSy by William Stubbs ; The Age of Elizabeth, by Man- 
dell Creighton; The Puritan Revolution, by S. R. Gardiner; 
Oliver CromwelVs Letters and Speeches, by Thomas Carlyle; 
The Fall of the Stuarts, by Edward Hale; The Age of Anne, 
by E. E. Morris; History of Napoleon, by P. Lanfrey; Con- 
stitutional History of England, by Henry Hallam ; History 
of Our Own Times, by Justin M'Carthy; History of En- 
gland, by Edith Thompson ; Short History of the English 

6 Outline History of England. 

People, by John Richard Green, and the Universal Historic* 
of Plcetz, Labberton, and Fisher. To those readers who care 
to fill in for themselves the outlines which are sketched in 
this volume, the histories of Green, Freeman, Bright, Stubbs, 
Taswell-Langmead, and Hume are recommended. 

The Sketch of English Literature, by Henry A. Beers, 
which accompanies this book in the Chautauqua reading 
course has enabled the author to devote to other matters 
the portion of his space upon which the writers of England 
had large claim. That work admirably supplements this 
history. James Richard Joy. 


England— The Island ok the English 13 

The Early Britain's and Roman Britain 28 

The English Kingdoms 42 

The English and the Northmen 59 

The Norman Conquerors *J8 

The Rise of the Barons . . 95 

The Plant agenet Kings 112 

England and France 128 

Lancaster and York 14(5 

The Tudor Monarchs 150 

An Outline History of England. 


The Later Tcdors 178 

The Stuart Tyranny 205 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration 232 

The English Revolution 251 

The House of Hanover, or Brunswick 271 

Conclusion 293 



England 12 

Britain 44 

English Empire 62 

Dominions of House of Anjou 96 

British Possessions 304 

The Sovereigns of England. 


WILLIAM L, b. about 1027, d. 1087, 

m. Matilda of Flanders. 


WILLIAM II. (Rufus), 

b. about 1060, 

d. 1100. 

I I 

HENRY I. Adela, 

b. 1068, d. 1137, 

d. 1135, m. Stephen, 

m. 1. Matilda of Count of 

Scotland. Blois and Chartres. 

I ,1. 

Matilda, STEPHEN, 

d. 1167, d. 1154, 

wi. 2. Geoff veil (Plan- m. Matilda, 

tagenet), Count of Countess of Boulogne. 



b. 1133, d. 1189, 

m. Eleanor, Duchess 

of Aquitaine. 

b. 1155, d. 1183. 

b. 1157, d. 1199. 


b. 1158, d. 1186, 

m. Constance, 

heiress of 


Duke of 
b. 1187, 
d. 1203. 

Note.— The kings are printed in capitals 
and numbered in the order of their reigns. 





b. 1166, d. 1216, 

m. 2. Isabel of 



b. 1207, d. 1272, 

m. Eleanor of 





b. 1239, d. 1307, 

m. 1. Eleanor 

of Castile. 



b. 1284, 

murdered 1327, 

m. Isabel of 




b. 1312, d. 1377, 

m. Philippa of 


[See next page.'] 


An Outline History of England. 






1 I 

Edward, Lionel, 1. Blanche, 

- John of Gaunt, = 

= 3. Katharine 

Prince of Duke of daughter of 

Duke of 


Wales, Clarence, Henry, Duke of 


b. 1330, b. 1.338, Lancaster. 

b. about 1340, 

d. 1376. d. 1368. 
(12.) (1 

d. 1399. 



John Beaufort, 

b. 1366, m. Edmund b. 1366, d. 1413, 

Earl of Somerset. 

deposed Mortimer, m. 1. Mary 

1399. Earl of Bohun. 


1 (14.) 

Roger HENRY V. 

John Beaufort, 

Mortimer, b. 1388, d. 1422, 

Duke of 

Earl of m. Katharine 



March. of Frai 


ice, who =- 

= 2. Owen Tud( 


i a 



Edmund Anne HENRY VI. 



Mortimer, Mortimer, b. 1421, 

Tudor, Earl 


Earl of m. Richard, d. 1471, 

of Richmond. 

March, Earl m. Margaret 

d. 1424. of Cam- of Anjou. 



who was 


beheaded, Edward, 

1415. Prince of Wales, 

b. 1457, d. 1509. 

b. 1453, 

slain at 



(20.) . 

1. Katharine = HENRY VIII. = 2. Anne Boleyn. = 

3. Jane Seymour. 

of Aragon. 


b. 1491, d. 1547. 
2.) (2-' 







b. 1516, 

d. 1558, b. 1533, 

d. 1603. 

b. 1537, 



m. Philip of Spain. 

The Sovereigns of England. 

OF ENGLAND— continued. 



Edmund of 


Duke of York, 

b. 1341, d. 1402. 


Earl of Cambridge, 

beheaded 1415, 

m. Anne 



Richard Plantagenet, 

Duke of York, 

slain at 

Wakefield, 1460. 



b. 1442, d. 1483, 

m. Elizabeth 


i di.) 

George, Duke of RICHARD III. 

Clarence, b. 1449, d. 1478. b. 1452, d. 1485, 

! m. Anne Neville. 

d. 1503. 



b. 1470. 


Duke of 


b. 1472. 


Earl of 






b. 1480, d. 1541, 

pi. 1. James IV., 

King of Scots. 

Ja-ues V., 

King of Scots, 

d. 1542. 



Queen of Scots, 

beheaded 1587. 




b. 1566, d. 1625, 

Anne of Denmark. 

[See next page.} 


Countess of 


beh'd 1541, 

m. Sir 




Prince of Wales, 

b. about 1476, 

d. 1484. 


b. 1498, d. 1533, 

m. 2. Charles 

Brandon, Duke of 


Frances Brandon, 
m. Henry Grey, 
Duke of Suffolk. 

Jane Grey, 

beheaded 1554, 

m. Lord Guilford 



An Outline History of England. 






b. 1600, beheaded 1649. 

m. Henrietta Maria of France. 



b. 1630, 

d. 1685. 




b. 1633, 

d. 1701. 

b. 1662, 
d. 1694. 

b. 1665, 
d. 1714. 


James Francis 

Edward Stuart, 

the Old 


b. 1688, d. 1766. 


Stuart, the 

b. 1720, 
d. 1788. 

b. 1725, 
d. 1807. 

Queen of 
b. 1596, d. 1662, 
m. Freder- 
ick, Elector 


b. 1631, d. 1660, 

m. William, 

Prince of 


d. 1714, 
m. Ernest 
Elector of 

(29.) (31.) 

b. 1650, d. 1702. b. 1660, 
rn. d. 1727, 

MARY OF m. Sophia 
ENGLAND. Dorothea 
of Zell. 



b. 1683, 

d. 1760, 

m. Caroline 

of Branden- 




Prince of Wales, 

b. 1707, d. 1751. 




b. 1738, d. 1820. 

m. Charlotte 

of Mechlen- 





b. 1762, d. 1830, 

m. Caroline of 

Brunswick- Wolfenbilttel. 

b. 1796, d. 1817. 

(35.) | 

WILLIAM IV. Edward, Duke of Kent, 
b. 1765, d. 1837. b. 1767, d. 1820. 

Ernest Augustus, 

King of Hanover, 

b. 1771, d. 1851. 



b. 1819, 

m. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 


AN 01 'LINE 





The thoughtful student of the marvelous history of En- 
gland, her rise from weakness and poverty to surpassing 
wealth and power, will more than once note to what an ex- 
tent the physical characteristics of the land have molded 
the development of the nation. The simplest of these in- 
fluences has been the most effective, and England is now the 
ruler of continents mainly because for centuries she was con- 
fined to the narrow limits of an island. There first she 
learned to rule herself. It was this insular position — dis- 
tinct, though not distant, from Europe — that delayed and 
restricted the Roman conquest ; this it was which tempted 
the Anglo-Saxon invaders, and later left them free to con- 
solidate the kingdom they had won; and not until the Nor- 
man-French monarchs had lost their continental dominions 
and become simply the lords of the island did England take 
her rightful place as mistress of the seas and first in the roll 
of commercial empires. Sitting thus by herself, removed a 
step from her brawling neighbors, England has solved some 
of the hardest problems of government. Before proceeding 
to the study of the English people we should give some at- 
tention to their island home, which has formed their national 

The British Isles, of whose area England comprises about 

14 Ax Outline History of England. 

one half, exceed five thousand in number, though only two, 
Great Britain and Ireland, are of considerable size and im- 
portance. On the westward the open Atlantic, a thousand 
miles wide and a thousand fathoms deep, separates them 
from the American continent, and furnishes a roadway for 
the commerce of two worlds. The North Sea, or German 
Ocean, rolls its shallow waters on the east, offering means of 
communication with the Baltic Sea and the hundred harbors 
of Northern Europe. To the south the sea is constricted 
into the Strait of Dover, where the French sentinel at Calais 
may descry the chalk cliffs of England across twenty miles 
of choppy waves. The strait relaxes again in the English 
Channel, which washes the southern shore of England and 
the northern coast of France. Again two channels — the 
North and St. George's — with the Irish Sea, furnish a con- 
tinuous water-way between the two greater islands of the 
British group. In comparison with Great Britain and Ire- 
land no member of the cluster merits mention, but others will 
figure in this history, and should not be overlooked in this 
preliminary survey. North of Great Britain are two rocky 
groups, the Shetlands — whose hardy ponies are dear to the 
heart of boyhood — and the Orkneys — some seventy weather- 
beaten, sea-bird-haunted cliffs. Westward, and not far from 
the Scottish coast, are the stormy Hebrides. Among these are 
Lewis, Skye, little Staffa, famed for Fingal's Cave, and Iona, 
the ancient center of Celtic Christianity. Advancing south- 
ward past Islay and Arran, the voyager in the Irish Sea 
would reach the Isle of Man, and near the coast of Wales 
Anglesey, a sacred seat of the Druid worship of the an- 
cient Britons. West of Land's End, at the south-western 
angle of England, are the Scilly Islands, a welcome sight to 
the eastward-faring mariner, and nestling close under the 
southern coast is the fair Isle of Wight. Leagues away to 
the southward are cattle-breeding Jersey, Guernsey, Al- 
derney, and the other Channel Islands, like British outposts, 

England — the Island of the English. 15 

but in reality the paltry remnant of the once vast continental 
realm of England. The east coast of Great Britain has but 
one island that need be named — Holy Isle, in the German 
Ocean, near Tweed-mouth. 

Great Britain itself comprises about two thirds of the 
British group. Its area is 84,000 square miles, with a maxi- 
mum length of 600 miles, and a breadth varying from 33 to 
367 miles. Although under a single government, it is di- 
vided into three sections — Scotland, Wales, and England. 
Scotland has an area of 24,000 miles, a length of 286, and a 
breadth of from 33 to 160 miles. It is a land of rugged 
mountains, beautiful glens, and crystal lakes, but its soil, save 
in the southern Lowlands, is thin and its climate harsh, and 
neither in wealth nor population can it compare with Wales, 
which is rugged, and among its mountain-masses descend- 
ants of the ancient Celtic race that Ca?sar found in the 
island linger yet. The principality covers 7,400 square 
miles, and until the dawn of this century of metals and 
steam the Welsh people were as poor as they were scattered. 
Mining and quarrying for coal, iron, and slate have changed 
this for the better. But it is not Scotland, nor Wales, nor 
even the Emerald Isle, that most concerns us. Our theme is 

East of Wales and south of Scotland, occupying two 
thirds of Great Britain, the choicest territory of the island, 
is the country whose history lies before us. It is not exten- 
sive, this England — 350 miles from north to south, and no- 
where more than 370 from east to west. Its area, stated 
roundly, is 50,000 miles. It will make matters clearer to survey 
its physical features, note where its mountains rise, where its 
great plains are spread out, and whence and whither its 
rivers run. The backbone of England is the Pennine Chain, 
a line of mountains and high plains, or moors, extending 
southward from the Scottish border to the heart of the king- 
dom, where it ends in the Peak of Derbyshire. On the one 

10 An Outline History of England. 

side — west — of the Pennine range is a knot of lofty mount- 
ains, the Cumbrian Hills, among which rise the summits of 
Scafell (3,162 feet), " the brow of mighty Helvellyn " (3,118 
feet), and Skiddaw (3,054 feet). In the folds of these 
mountains are the lakes Windermere, Ulles Water, Derwent- 
water, Thirlmere, Buttermere, and Coniston Water, which 
make this " lake district " the most picturesque region in 
England, and a favorite haunt of poets. East of the Pen- 
nines is the great plain of York, curving around the Peak 
and joining the central plain. A range of uplands sepa- 
rates these plains from the valley of the Thames, which 
stretches its fertile length nearly across the kingdom, and 
from the Severn valley, which cuts off the Welsh highlands 
from the gentler levels of the east. Cornwall, the narrow 
south-western prolongation of England, is mountainous, like 
Wales, but the greater part of southern England is a rolling 
country traversed by four ranges of uplands or high plains, the 
Oolitic, Chilterns, North Downs, and South Downs. The first 
is of limestone, the three latter are of white chalk, and ter- 
minate respectively in Hunstanton Point, the Forelands, and 
Beachy Head. These four ranges converge from the east 
coast to Dorsetshire, the region between the Bristol and En- 
glish Channels. North of them, beyond the valleys of Thames 
and Severn, lies the mining and manufacturing center of the 
world, drawing its sustenance from the iron, coal, and lead of 
the Pennine Chain, the wool from the northern and southern 
grazing lands, and the cotton of both hemispheres. 

The water system of England is simple. Navigable seas 
surround the island, fine harbors indent its coasts, and many 
rivers traverse its plains and thread its valleys. The deep 
bays and prominent headlands give to England and Wales 
a coast line 1,800 miles long. The eastern shore is generally 
low and level. The rivers that enter the German Ocean are 
the Tyne, which flows through the northern coal-beds, the 
Tees, the Humber, which gathers to itself a sheaf of streams— 

England — the Island of the English. 17 

the Trent and Ouse among them — the Wash, a shallow bay 
receiving the slow moving waters of the expanse of marsh-land 
known as the fens of Lincolnshire, and the Thames, the 
main water-course of Great Britain. The south coast runs 
through many variations of height, from the low chalk cliffs 
of Dover to the iron-bound masses of the Cornish promon- 
tories. Its rivers are few and of no moment, but the arms 
of the sea, which embrace the Isle of Wight, provide the 
splendid harbors of Portsmouth and Southampton, and far- 
ther toward the west is Plymouth Sound, the head-quarters 
of the royal fleet. Rounding Land's End and coasting 
northward, the sailor enters the broad waters of Bristol 
Channel, the estuary of the Severn. North of Wales the 
rivers Dee and Mersey discharge into the Irish Sea 
through broad mouths, the former now choked by "the 
sands o' Dee," the latter the second sea-port of the realm. 
The Ribble cuts another deep notch in Lancashire, a little 
south of the wide Bay of Morecambe, which receives the 
Lune and other southward-flowing waters from the Cum- 
brian hills. The northerly meres and torrents find their way 
into Solway Firth by the Eden and Derwent. 

The climate of the British Isles is remarkable. The group 
lies between parallel 50° and 60° of north latitude, as far 
north as Labrador or Central Russia, yet the temperature is 
mild throughout the year. It is their insular position, and 
especially the proximity of the warm ocean-river, the Gulf 
Stream, which sweeps past their western shores, which secures 
to these islands warmth and evenness of temperature and 
plentiful moisture. 

Ireland is as warm as Virginia, and the air of the Isle of 
Wight is nearly as mild as the climate of France and Italy. 
The mean temperature of London is much higher than that of 
New York. The stranger in Great Britain is most invpressed 
by the frequent and copious rains. The prevailing winds 
blow from the west, gathering moisture from the evaporating 

18 Ax Outline Histoky of England. 

waters of the Atlantic. Ireland receives the first downpour, 
and the fields of that green island are watered by showers 
208 days (average) in the year. The mountains of Britain — 
Scottish, Welsh, and English— next intercept the heavy clouds. 
The rain-fall upon their western slopes is enormous — seven 
feet every year in some districts. These waters reach the sea 
in short and rapid torrents. The eastern counties have but a 
moderate amount of rain, but nowhere is the land too dry for 
pasturage, and in general the humid atmosphere nourishes 
the lawns, fields, and hedge-rows, which give luxuriant color 
to the English landscape. Coupled with warmth of climate, 
this moisture makes the soil productive of rich crops of 
cereals. Wheat thrives almost every- where, and barley and 
oats in the north. Ireland's chief crop is potatoes, though 
•flax is much cultivated. Grazing is successful in all parts 
of the United Kingdom, and the best breeds of horned cat- 
tle and sheep bear the names of the English counties and 
islands where they were bred. 

Moor and fell, lake, stream, and chalk cliff remain much as 
they were when the first Greek or Roman discoverer set foot 
in Britain, but among these the modern traveler or student 
finds new names and places that mark the island as the hab- 
itation of man. England has a political geography no less 
interesting than the physical features which we have enu- 
merated, and at the outset we shall do well to impress upon 
our minds its leading facts — the counties and towns of En- 
gland, their names, positions, and characteristics. 

With the help of a map we shall again commence at Ber- 
wick, on the river Tweed — the English Rubicon — and, mov- 
ing southward, note them in succession. 

The first of the forty English shires, or counties, is North- 
umberland, the old border-land where English Percy and 
Scottish Douglas met in frequent foray. The Tweed on the 
north and the Tyne on the south form outlets for the rich 
coal-measures which contribute to the prosperity of North 

England — the Island of the English. 19 

Shields and Newcastle-on-Tyne, the latter city ranking after 
London and Liverpool in trade. Durham, which lies next, 
between the Tyne and Tees, surpasses its northern neighbor 
in the variety of its industries. Its coal-beds are extensive. 
Near them is iron ore. And its river valleys are checkered 
with fertile farms. Durham, the shire-town on the Wear, 
is a quiet little city with a famous cathedral church. Sun- 
derland and South Shields are the other cities. York, the 
greatest of the shires, occupies the plain between the Tees 
and the Humber, drained by the dozen streams which swell 
the latter river through the channel of the Ouse. In the 
center of this rich farming district is the city of York, one 
of the oldest of English towns, and prominent in the chroni- 
cles of war and peace, 'Church and State. It has a splendid 
cathedral, the seat of one of the two Anglican archbishops. 
Moors and uplands rich in metals and coal skirt this river- 
basin, and at the south-western angle among the Pennine 
foot-hills populous manufacturing cities have sprung up 
around the woolen-mills of Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Hud- 
dersfield, and the edge-tool shops of Sheffield. Hull, on the 
Humber, is the port for much of the export trade in the prod- 
ucts of these factories. For convenience the great county 
is divided, its three districts — the North, East, and West 
Ridings — all meeting in the county town of York. Again 
two rivers — rather, broad inlets — the Humber and the 
Wash, inclose a county. This time it is Lincoln. Lincoln- 
shire differs materially from the shires already noticed, hav- 
ing no share in the mineral treasures of the Pennine Chain. 
Its northern districts, known as the Wolds, are upland past- 
ures, but where they fall to the level of the Wash land and 
water mingle in the vast marshes called " the fen country." 
These fenlands have been diked and drained, and are now 
fertile. grass-lands, while countless flocks of ducks and geese 
are bred in their sluggish waters. The capital is Lincoln, a 
little old cathedral city, and the chief port is Boston — St. 

20 An Outline History of England. 

Botolph's town — both on the river Witham, and bearing 
names dear to Americans. West of Lincolnshire the river 
Trent drains an inland region comprising the four Midland 
counties — Nottingham, Derby, Stafford, and Leicester. All 
except the last named border the Pennine Chain and delve 
for its minerals. In Nottinghamshire was Sherwood Forest, 
the haunt of Robin Hood and his greenwood rangers. Not- 
tingham is its busy capital, and it has no other large city, 
the farming people being dispersed among many market- 
towns and villages. Northern Derbyshire contains the rugged 
region of the Peak (1,981 feet high), and its eastern section 
is rich in coal and iron. Derby is the thriving county seat. 
Rich Staffordshire lies next, on the south-west. Coal in the 
north, and coal again in the south, alternating with rich beds 
of clay, have made the Staffordshire potteries the largest in 
England. Stafford, a " shoe-town," is the county seat, but 
Stoke-on-Trent is the center of the earthenware manufacture. 
In the south are Wolverhampton, with extensive iron-furnaces, 
Burton-on-Trent, a brewer's city, and peaceful old Lichfield, 
with a much-admired cathedral. The fourth and least of the 
midland shires is Leicester. Its pleasant farms lie wholly 
south of the Trent, and are watered by the river Soar. Leices- 
ter, where court is held and wool is spun and woven, is the 
only large city among a score of country towns. 

With Lincoln, noticed above, five other shires — Rutland, 
Northampton, Huntingdon, Bedford, and Cambridge — are 
sometimes classed as counties of the Wash or the East Mid- 
lands. Rutland is the smallest shire in England ; the court- 
house is at Oakham. The water-shed of central England ex- 
tends through long and narrow Northamptonshire; numerous 
herds graze upon these uplands, and rivers springing here find 
their diverse ways to the Wash, the Severn, and the Thames. 
Northampton, the capital, is the center of the shoe-trade, but 
Peterborough, with its towering church, is far more inter- 
esting. About the farms of level Huntingdon lingers the 

England — the Island of the English. 21 

memory of one Oliver Cromwell, the sturdiest patriot that 
ever tilled an English field; and Bedford, the county seat 
of the adjoining Bedfordshire, is better known for its dream- 
ing tinker, John Bunyan, than for the straw hats and bon- 
nets plaited there and at Dunstable. The last of these six 
counties bears the renowned name of Cambridge, its 
county seat, where in simpler times the little river Cam was 
bridged, and where one of the two English universities has 
been for six centuries a center of learning;. The northern 
section of the shire is fen-land, like southern Lincoln, and 
from the marshes rises the Isle of Ely, a religious center from 
the earliest English times. Between Cambridge and the 
east coast lie the two East Anglian counties, Norfolk and 
Suffolk, the "north-folk" and "south-folk" of the Angles? 
who first conquered this district. Farms in the interior, and 
fisheries on the sea-board, give employment to the inhabitants. 
Norwich is the capital, and Yarmouth — famed for its her- 
rings — the sea-port of the northern shire. Ipswich is both 
capital and port of Suffolk. In the interior is the historic 
Bury St. Edmunds. 

The Thames (length, 215 miles) is the chief English river, 
and eight counties lie within the region which it drains. 
Essex, Middlesex, Hertford, Buckingham, and Oxford lie on 
its left bank, opposed on the other shore by Berkshire, Sur- 
rey, and Kent. Essex got its name from its East-Saxon 
conquerors. AVhere once were the royal hunting preserves 
of Epping and Hainault is now a land of farms and rural pros- 
perity without large cities. At Shoeburyness, guarding the 
Thames-mouth, is the artillery-school of the British army. 
The Middle Saxons gave their name to Middlesex, smallest 
but one and most populous of all the English shires. Its 
capital is Brentford. Westward, by a heath once infested 
by Sir John Falstaff and fiercer cut-purses, is Hounslow, and 
a few miles to the north is Harrow, the home of a famous 
public school. But in comparison with its great city the 

22 An Outline History of England. 

towns of Middlesex sink out of sight; for within this county 
lies the greater portion of London, the greatest city that 
the world has known. The population of 4,000,000 souls 
gathered here overflows upon the Surrey side of the Thames, 
and the docks and warehouses of its abounding commerce line 
the river to its mouth. London is the seat of the English 
government, and the capital of the world's trade. Hither run 
all the roads in England, and hither tend the sails from every 
sea. No metropolis of the ancient world is to be compared 
with this modern marvel. Middlesex cuts off Hertford from 
direct contact with the Thames. This shire has no great 
cities, but St. Albans is a town of note in early times. In 
Buckinghamshire is Eton, noted like Harrow for its ancient 
school. Agriculture is the prevailing industry, as it is in Ox- 
fordshire, which adjoins the former on the west. Oxford, 
the county seat, has also a cathedral and a university seven 
centuries old. In the north-west are the Edge Hills, and in the 
center of the county is Woodstock, where the poet Chaucer 
lived and wrote The Canterbury Tales. Crossing to the 
right bank of the Thames, and following it to the sea, we 
pass through Berkshire, another land of farmers, having the 
royal residence of Windsor Castle in its north-eastern angle. 
The Hampshire Downs, a range of chalk hills which crosses 
Berkshire, also traverse the adjacent county of Surrey. Here 
the influence of London has turned the farming hamlets into 
thrifty suburban towns, and two populous divisions of 
the metropolis, Lambeth and Southwark, lie wholly on the 
Surrey side. Kent, which lies between Surrey and the Straits 
of Dover, is one of the most interesting of this long list of 
counties. On this coast are Dover and Folkestone, whence 
steam-boats cross to Calais and Boulogne in France. Rams- 
gate and Margate, on the Isle of Thanet, are the popular sea- 
shore resorts of the London crowds. Canterbury is the site 
of a grand cathedral, the seat of the first Anglican arch- 
bishop, and perhaps the most venerated spot in the kingdom. 

England — the Island of the English. 23 

Tunbridge Wells, on the southern border, was the fashionable 
watering-place two hundred years ago; at Rochester is an 
ancient cathedral, and near by at Chatham is the arsenal of 
the royal navy. Deptford, Greenwich, Woolwich, and 
Gravesend, which elbow each other for a water-front upon 
the Thames, present mile upon mile of docks, crowded with 
the shipping of the globe. Marking the mouth of the 
Thames is the North Foreland light. 

Our traveling student of political geography has now re- 
turned from his trip among the Thames counties and may 
follow the Channel coast into Sussex, another historical 
name derived from the South Saxons. The surface of this 
shire is broken by the South Downs, a range of crumbling 
chalk hills ending at the Channel shore in Beachy Head. 
Between these hills and the North Downs is the Weald, a 
plain of clay and sand, which was until recently a tangled 
wilderness. Sussex is not populous, but among its coast 
towns are Hastings, where William the Conqueror fought, and 
Brighton, the most popular beach in England. Chichester, 
now decayed, has the court-house and bishop's church. On 
the plain of Senlac William won his decisive victory over 
Harold, and near by is the ruined abbey of Battle — the mon- 
ument of the conquest. The Hampshire Downs, of which 
the North and South Downs are the eastern branches, extend 
across northern Hampshire, rising in places to the height of 
about 1,000 feet. Between their wall and the Channel is a 
gently undulating and fertile region, of which the ancient 
royal and cathedral city of Winchester is the center. Two 
harbors, Portsmouth and Southampton, indent the southern 
coast, the former being a naval post, the latter the entry 
port of an active commerce with the Mediterranean. 
Southampton Water, with its arms, the Solent and Spithead, 
divide the Isle of Wight from the Hampshire main-land. 
The climate of the island is charmingly mild, and its scenery 
very beautiful. West of Southampton Water is a wide 

24 An Outline History of England. 

tract of woodland called the New Forest. The conquer- 
ing Normans laid this country waste to form a game pre- 
serve, and it was here that "the red king" lost his life. 
Wiltshire, though wholly inland, is linked with this southern 
range of counties by its rivers, which flow into the English 
Channel, though parts of it are drained by affluents of the 
Thames and Severn. Much of its surface is high and barren 
— Salisbury Plain and Marlborough Downs. Salisbury is 
the capital and cathedral city, Wilton has given its name to 
a kind of carpets, Stonehenge is a circle of massive stones 
marking, perhaps, the center of the religious exercises of the 
Druids. Dorset lies between Wilts and the Channel. Much 
of its surface is high, and clay for the Stafford potteries is 
almost its only mineral product. 

Bristol Channel, a wedge driven far into Britain, splits off 
a slender sliver of land, which is divided between the three 
counties of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. Somersetshire 
borders the Bristol Channel, and is cut in two by the river 
Parret. East of this river are low hills and fertile valleys. 
There are cathedrals at Bath and Wells, and Glastonbury 
was once the site of the most extensive monastery in the 
island. West of the river, however, there are few cities ; 
masses of rocky mountains take the place of the ridges of 
chalk and lime which cross the eastern counties, and few 
villages are found in their isolated glens. The rocks of 
Devonshire are of the same character, but the mountains rise 
higher, and are rich in metals. Exmoor is the name given 
to the highlands of North Devon, and Dartmoor to the more 
extensive southern plateau. Yes Tor, the Dartmoor summit, 
exceeds 2,000 feet in height. Mines of lead, iron, tin, cop- 
per, and quarries of valuable building stone enrich South 
Devonshire, and have built busy cities at the mouths of the 
rivers: Plymouth, Devonport, and Dartmouth. In the plain 
between these two strips of moorland are bred the herds of 
Devon cattle, and here are the towns of Exeter, another 

England — the Island of the English. 25 

cathedral city, and Honiton, where lace is made. The point 
of this south-western sliver of Britain is the county of Corn- 
wall, which is again split at its western tip into the two 
headlands — Land's End and Lizard Point. Flinty rocks and 
scanty soil form the forbidding surface of the shire, but the 
hard rocks of the utmost west are richly veined with lead, 
silver, copper, and exhaustless stores of tin. The chief Corn- 
ish towns are Truro, Falmouth, and Penzance. 

Turning northward from the mineral-bearinor rocks of 
Devon and Cornwall, we find a group of six West Midland 
counties lying in the valley of the Severn, between Wales and 
the already mentioned Midland shires. They are Glouces- 
ter, Worcester, Warwick, Monmouth, Hereford, and Salop, 
or Shropshire. The first named is an agricultural region, 
notable for the wool of its Cotswold flocks, and for the com- 
merce and manufactures of its city of Bristol, which trades 
extensively with Ireland and the West Indies. Tracing the 
course of the Severn northward, one enters Worcestershire, a 
land of fertile valleys, rich in farms and orchards. Worces- 
ter, its capital, has famous porcelain works, carpets are 
woven at Kidderminster, and iron and glass are manufactured 
in a busy district at the north. The river Avon, the 
main tributary of the Severn, flows midway through lovely 
Warwickshire. This is Shakespeare's county, for he was 
born at Stratford-on-Avon. Rugby, dear to many genera- 
tions of English school-boys, is in the Avon valley. So is 
Coventry, where the chaste Godiva rode at noonday, and 
Kenilworth Castle, now ruined, where the Earl of Leicester 
feasted the august Elizabeth. Beyond the charming valley 
is the populous manufacturing city of Birmingham, ranking 
fourth in England. Across the Severn, from Gloucester, is 
Monmouthshire, taken from Wales by the eighth King Henry. 
The Welsh mountain spurs which enter the county from 
the west yield coal and iron, and the basin of the river 
Usk is fertile. The Wye, which here enters the Severn, has 

28 An Outline History of England. 

come down through the orchards and hop-gardens of Here- 
fordshire. The sixth and largest of the West Midland coun- 
ties is Shropshire, which the Severn cuts into halves, the north- 
ern section low, with fat pastures, the southern mountainous 
and sparsely peopled. Its towns are small and unimportant. 
The four remaining counties of England — Chester, Lan- 
caster, Westmoreland, and Cumberland — are washed by the 
Irish Sea and run back to the Pennine Chain. The double 
advantage of mineral wealth and easy water communication 
has raised them in wealth and population. Cheshire has the 
Mersey, with the sea-port of Birkenhead on its northern, and 
the sandy Dee, with Roman-walled Chester, on its southern, 
boundary. Midway flows the river Weaver, through a valley 
whose salt springs were utilized before the invasion of 
Caesar. Copper and lead mines, coal-fields and stone-quar- 
ries, are worked in the eastern districts, which thus gain 
importance as a manufacturing center. But the county of 
Lancaster, or Lancashire, stands easily first in manufactures. 
Lancaster is a long and narrow county, comprising the iso- 
lated lakes and mountains of Furness, the thinly settled 
pasture-lands of North Lancashire, and, between the Kibble 
and Mersey, South Lancashire, a swarming hive of industry. 
The coal-fields of the Lancashire moor-lands and the use of 
steam-power have changed this desolate country into a popu- 
lous and wealthy section until, as a recent writer says, " the 
whole county has now the appearance of one unbroken city 
of mills and factories, all busied in the same trade, the weav- 
ing, dyeing, and printing of cotton." Bolton, Oldham, Roch- 
dale, and Manchester are cities of spindles and looms, and 
Liverpool, on the Mersey, the second city of England, and 
second sea-port of the world, is the outlet and inlet for the 
materials and products of this enormous industry. West- 
moreland, which only comes down to the sea at the head of 
Morecambe Bay, is the most mountainous and barren, and, 
consequently, the least populous, of the English counties. 

England — the Island of the English. 27 

Yet the poets have lived there and written of the glories of 
Helvellyn and the beauties of Windermere, and this lake 
country has a charm for the artist and sight-seer. Cumber- 
land, wedged in between Westmoreland, Scotland, and Sol- 
way Firth, completes the tale of forty shires. It includes 
the northern lakes and mountains, and has mines of coal and 
lead. Carlisle, one of the oldest towns in Britain, is its 

Thus we have made the circuit of England as it is to-day. 
We must now turn from this busy scene of crowded cities, 
of bustling harbors, great factories, and deep mines. The 
beginnings of English history go back to a time when no 
Englishman dwelt in Britain and a half-civilized Celtic race 
tilled the plains and hunted in forests of the island. 

28 An Outline History of England. 



The people who call themselves English make no pretense 
of being the original proprietors of their England. The first 
ship-load of their pagan ancestors who crossed from the 
Scandinavian and German coasts of Europe and disembarked 
upon the eastern and southern shores of the island, in the 
fifth century after Christ, found the country already in pos- 
session of a partially civilized and Christianized Celtic race — 
the Britons. But it is probable that even these were preced- 
ed by another people, for the Roman pioneers, who reached 
Britain five centuries before the first Englishman set foot there, 
describe besides the Celts a swart, curly-headed people dwell- 
ing in the interior. This second nation, sometimes called Silu- 
rian, was perhaps related to the Iberians of early Spain, as the 
Celtic Britons were surely akin to the Celtic Gauls of France. 

Of the Silurians we merely know that they existed in the 
island when it was first visited by observing Europeans. Of 
the Celts there is something further to remark. It is now 
generally believed that the table-land of Central Asia was the 
mother-land of many races which in successive pulse-beats 
of population started forth to people the lands which lay to 
the west and south. This family of nations is variously 
named Aryan, Indo-European, and Indo-Germanic. To it 
belong most of the tribes which peopled Europe at the dawn 
of history, including the Hellenes, of the Greek countries; 
the Italians, from whom sprang the Romans, and the multi- 
tudinous races of northern Europe — the " barbarians," who 
first called forth the sneers, and afterward the fears, of 
Greece and Rome. 

The Early Britons and Roman Britain. 29 

From evidences of location and language it has been de- 
termined that the Celts were among the first Aryan families 
in Europe. They settled in Helvetia (Switzerland) and 
Gaul (France) in prehistoric times. A grain of credibility 
in the legendary history of Rome is that the hordes of 
Brennus, a Celtic chieftain, ravaged Italy and sacked Rome in 
the time of the kings (390 B. C). The unceasing westward 
movement of the Aryans, the later nations pressing the early- 
comers down into the peninsulas of the west, had already 
driven the non-Celtic race, which we shall call Silurian, across 
the English Channel, leaving a remnant hidden away among 
the Spanish mountains, who seem to survive to-day in the 
curious Basques of the Pyrenees. A portion of the Celts, 
obeying the same impulse, followed on the heels of the 
fugitives. All these movements probably took place very 
slowly, and no record of them has ever been found. The 
Celts of the British Islands are of two branches, the earlier 
Gaels — still represented by the Irish and the Scottish High- 
landers — and the Cymri, who originally held most of southern 
Britain, but whom we shall see retiring before the German 
invaders, and finding refuge in the mountains of Corn- 
wall and Wales, where the language and national type is 
still to be found. 

The history of early Britain, and, in truth, of early En- 
gland, is even more difficult to trace with certainty than that 
of Greece or Rome ; for the people of classic antiquity 
early took on civilization, and preserved written chronicles of 
events in their national life. Britain, remote from the intel- 
lectual lights, peopled by long-untutored barbarians, and 
twice or thrice submerged in wars of foreign conquest by 
yet ruder races, furnishes the most meager material for 
filling in the outline of her story. Legends there are in 
abundance connecting the islanders with the tales of JEneas 
and the Trojan founders of Rome, but they are too fanciful 
to claim a place in sober history, and we must pass them by 

so V\ OuTLiin Bisromi of Ench vm>. 

to learn what wo may of the actual condition and events in 
the island pro v ions to the advent of the English in the n ear 
149 A IV ' 

Some have fancied that the fearless mariners ot* the The- 
nioian cities [N re and Sidon, at the eastern end ot the Med- 
iterranean Sea -groped their way between the Pillars ot' Her- 
. S ,\ called the Strait of Gibraltar, and coasted 
northward to the Germ*!) Ocean a thousand years before 
the b Christ, in which ease the shores of Britain would 

..nlv ha\e tempted them to land, and its ores would have 

tarnished lading for their little vessels. This mineral 

wealth was &ari} fa R Herodotus, "the Father of 

.. hbottl 450 B, (X, speaks of the 
■• V:w Islands," making unquestioned allusion to the tin lodes 
M rail, Still the richest in the world. One hundred 

v writer Aristotle speaks of two great 
; in the oeean, inhabited by British and called 
\ ltd (erne, names still clinging to the British Isles, 

— the SC< 1 is now spelled llibernia. 

v . .\ i . ;\ . i v iMassilis (Marseilles), in Gaul, vis- 

marsh and its asts He stated als 

neestors of the ( sn Is, South 

Downs, . Dei as graaed in the oak open- 

i on the upland pastures Wheal ' e round growing 

» coast, and - urns must be built 

- forbidd more 

assl - Qaul 1 sn j Sicily. 

. v ic not 

seek. The an- 

•■..'■ 58 B. CL, 

s .. which his ambition demand- 
l r.\e-\ i rs' orship in 

intry iuhal 

The Early Britons and Roman Britain, 31 

by tribes of Celts, simple, rude, but in a way warlike, brave, 
and chivalrous. These tribes he reduced to subjection to 

Rome in a scries of brilliant campaigns, the records of which 
be kept with bis own hand, and soon published in his 
Notes on the War in Gaul. To these books we turn and find 
rich information. As Caesar's conquests progressed among 
the tribes of western Gaul, his efforts were hampered by the 
succors which his enemies received from the .Britons, a kin- 
dred people, who lived on a great island, distant but a few 
Leagues from the main. Harassed by their interference, and 
am bilious of new laurels, the Roman gathered a hundred 
little vessels and two legions of men, near Cape Grisnez, in 
France, for the invasion of Britain. A reconnoitering galley 
returned with small information, and chiefs of several island 
tribes came professing submission. Setting sail before day- 
break, on August 27, 55 ]>. C, Caesar sighted the white 
cliffs near Dover early in the forenoon. The watchers on the 
heights gave the alarm, and late in the afternoon, when the 
Romans attempted a landing, the shore (near Deal, in mod- 
ern Kent) was lined with fiercely yelling Britons, horrible 
with war-paint, and driving their heavy war-chariots up and 
down the beach. The ships had to anchor far down the sand, 
and the legionaries, cumbered with armor, must wade ashore 
through tumbling breakers, in the face of arrows and javelins. 
Once landed, their victory was easy, and in obedience to 
Caesar's iron discipline they fortified a camp and rested from 
battle and labor. In a few days the neighboring British 
tribes sued for peace and sent in hostages, but, the Roman 
fleet being damaged by storms, the Britons plucked up cour- 
age and made a sudden attack upon a Roman foraging party, 
which was only saved by the promptness of the commanding 
general. A few days more of bad weather convinced Caesar 
that the autumn gales were approaching. He won another in- 
decisive battle over his besiegers, and then ingloriously sailed 
away in his racked vessels, having secured little booty and 

32 An Outline History of England. 

no conquest to show for his three-weeks' campaign among 
the men of Kent. 

This did not satisfy him. Early in the following summer 
Caesar collected an armament of 800 small vessels, with 30,000 
foot and 2,000 horse, near Boulogne, on the east side of Dover 
Strait, and on July 20, 54 B. C, again turned his prow to- 
ward Britain. This time the landing was unopposed, and the 
army, hastily disembarking at Deal, marched a few leagues 
inland and took by storm the strong palisade and earth- 
works to which the Britons had retreated. It was two weeks 
before the Romans could follow up their advantages, and 
meanwhile the painted Britons were crowding into Kent to 
expel the intruder. Tribal feuds were laid aside in the face 
of the common peril, and one Cassivelaunus — so Caesar spelled 
the Celtic name Caswallon — was made leader of the horde. 
With the courage of numbers and a righteous cause the 
Celts engaged the legions in repeated combats, hurling their 
chariots through the Roman lines, the horsemen leaping to 
the ground and engaging the infantry hand to hand. But 
their successes were few and temporary. The veterans of 
five campaigns against the Gauls were not to be stampeded 
by the rudely armed and undisciplined islanders, and it was 
not long before the Britons, checked and disheartened, fell 
away from their chief and sought their own safety, tribe by 
tribe, in submission. Caesar followed Caswallon northward 
across the Thames and took his stronghold. In early au- 
tumn the campaign was closed. The Romans withdrew across 
the channel, leaving no garrison, but taking many noble 
youths as hostages to secure peace and the payment of trib- 
ute. How regularly the tribute money was paid no records 
tell. Other events turned Caesar's face eastward, and he 
never revisited the island. 

This is what Caesar said of the inhabitants : " The interior 
of Britain is inhabited by a race said to be aboriginal ; the 
coast regions by invaders from Belgium, whom war or foray 

The Early Britons and Roman Britain. 33 

has brought thither, and who have afterward settled in the 
country. There is a large population, the buildings being 
numerous and closely resembling those of Gaul. Cattle form 
their chief possession. For money they use copper or iron in 
bars of fixed weight and value. Tin is found in the interior, 
and iron sparingly near the coast. Whatever copper they 
use is imported. They have the forest trees of the main-land, 
except the beech and fir. It is forbidden by law to eat the 
flesh of hare, goose, or chicken, and these creatures are do- 
mesticated for mere amusement. The island has a milder 
climate than that of Gaul. 

" Of all the tribes the Kentish men stand first in civiliza- 
tion. They dwell on the sea-board, and differ little in cus- 
toms from the neighboring Gauls. Farther back from the 
coast many tribes sow no grains, subsisting chiefly upon 
the milk and flesh of their herds, whose skins form their 
clothing. Every Briton stains himself blue with the juice of 
the woad, giving him a horrible appearance in battle. The 
men shave themselves, excepting the head and the upper lip. 
Ten or a dozen men have wives in common." 

Of their system of society, government, and religion Caesar 
makes little note, but by likening their customs to those of 
Gaul he justifies us in quoting for the Britons what he says of 
those nearly related tribes. He found,, then, that there were 
practically two main bodies in the nation, the people and 
the privileged classes. The former were little better than 
slaves of their more fortunate masters. The latter class was 
twofold — Knights and Druids. The Knights were not the 
courtly cavaliers of later feudal France, but were the families 
whose wealth or prowess in Mar gave them eminence. The 
customs and beliefs of the Druids are still a mystery, although 
much thought and more words have been devoted to them. 
All that Cresar says of them is : 

"The Druids have charge of all matters of religion; they 
officiate at public and private sacrifices and interpret the 

34 An Outline History of England. 

omens. The people hold them in high honor, and many- 
young men resort to them for education. They decide al- 
most all law-suits, judging and passing sentence in civil and 
criminal cases, murder, disputed wills, and boundaries. Any 
person or tribe that dissents from their decision is declared 
an outlaw. Over them all is an Arch-Druid, elected by his 
fellows for life. . . . The system is said to have originated in 
Britain, and thither go many Gauls to learn its principles. 
The Druids are exempt from taxation and free from civil and 
military duties. These privileges attract many novitiates, 
and many others are sent to them by parents and kindred. 
They have to commit to memory a great number of verses, 
the full course of training sometimes running through twenty 
years. This knowledge of theirs is a sacred secret, and it is 
unlawful to write it down, though they employ the Greek al- 
phabet in their other affairs. I think they have two reasons 
for this : they do not want their system published to the out- 
side world, and they hope thereby to cultivate the memory 
of their pupils. The chief doctrine of the Druids is that the 
soul of man does not perish, but has everlasting life, passing 
at the death of one body to renewed existence in the person 
of another. Thus, they would incite courage by removing 
the fear of death. They have much lore concerning the 
stars and their motions, concerning the universe and the 
earth, concerning natural objects, and about the power and 
purposes of the immortal gods. Such things are the staple 
of their discussions, and it is learning of this kind that they 
hand down to their young disciples." 

Caesar found them worshiping many gods whom he iden- 
tified with Mercury, Apollo, Mars, Jupiter, and Minerva, of 
the Roman religion. Horrible sacrifices he describes of hu- 
man beings. There is ample proof of this awful feature of 
the Druidic religion, and it is believed that the groves of 
sacred oaks were often scenes of consecrated murder. The 
oak, its leaves and acorns, were held in veneration, and 

The Early Britons and Roman Britain. 35 

it is said that the mistletoe, which grew upon its branches, 
was the sacred symbol of man, upheld and nourished by di- 
vine power. The island of Mona (modern Anglesey) was a 
favorite school of the Druids, and it is urged by many that 
Stonehenge, the circle of rudely cut gigantic stones, which 
has stood on Salisbury Plain from time immemorial, was the 
Druid cathedral, as it were, of all Britain, the seat of the 

The Britons — Druids, Knights, and Commons — were little 
molested for a hundred years, following the terror which 
Caesar's advent must have spread among them. Rome was 
the only center of action, and the ambition of that same 
Caesar kept Roman hands from her foreign foes for three 
generations. The Latin poets of the Augustan age make 
mention of the Britons — choose the Briton for their type of 
the freeman, unsubdued, and " out of the world." The tribute 
promised to Caesar may have been extorted now and then 
after Augustus had gathered up the reins of power at Rome, 
but the actual conquest of Britain was not begun until 43 A. D. 
The work was done piecemeal, and was many years in ac- 
complishment. We need note only the main events in its 

In the year 43 A. D., Claudius, emperor of Rome, ordered 
Aulus Plautius, a general commanding in Gaul, to invade 
Britain with four legions. Despite their mutinous spirit at 
being led " out of the world," Plautius invaded Britain with 
40,000 men. He found the country united in resistance under 
the two sons of the late King Cunobelin (the Cymbeline of 
Shakespeare's play). One of these, Caradoc (Caractacus in its 
Roman form), ranks high among the British heroes in the stub- 
born struggle. The Roman army seems to have penetrated 
from the mouth of the Thames to the valley of the Severn, 
winning battles and ravaging the fields. Imperial Claudius 
came in person to share in the glories, and returned to Rome 
to enjoy a triumph and to add the surname Britannicus to 

36 An Outline History of England. 

his many titles. Hither also eame Vespasian, a general who 
subdued the coast tribes of the south, and marked himself 
for future honors at Rome. In 47 A. D. Ostorius succeeded 
Plautius, pushing his conquests northward into York and 
Lancashire, and founding a military colony at Camulodu- 
num (Colchester) to hold the region for Rome. His energy 
fired the patriotism of the Britons, and again Caradoc, the 
Silurian king, led them to battle (50 A. D.). The natives 
fought with desperation, but the soldiers of Rome were vic- 
tors, and the British leader was sent a captive to Rome, 
whose arms he had resisted for eight years. It is said that 
the noble prisoner was much affected by the splendors of the 
world's metropolis, and cried out in bitterness, " Strange that 
the owners of all this should envy us our miserable huts !" 
His life was spared, and he ended his days in obscurity in 
" the eternal city." 

After the death of Ostorius the feeble generals made little 
headway in Britain, but in 58 A. D. (Nero then wearing the 
purple) Suetonius Paulinus, a genuine Roman, clear of mind 
and strong of will, took command in earnest. From the 
Druid's seat at Mona (Anglesey) came the fire-brands that 
kept the Britons ablaze against Rome, and it was the plan 
of Suetonius to quench this flame by an invasion of that island 
(61 A. D.). This he did, landing in the face of a British 
army, egged on by ranks of chanting Druids and infuriated 
women. The unaccustomed array daunted the soldiers 
a moment only; they routed the enemy, put priests and 
women to the sword, and leveled the oak forests where the 
Druid altars were ready to consume the Roman captives had 
the fortune of battle been otherwise. While Suetonius 
struck this heavy blow in the west, the east had risen. 
Boadicea, queen of the Icenians (inhabiting Norfolk and 
Suffolk), had suffered sadly at the rough hands of the Ro- 
mans. Pillaged and insulted, her two daugl iters violated, she 
vowed revenge. The tribes of the east, maddened by her 

The Early Britons and Roman Britain. 37 

injuries, and by the cruelty and greed of their Roman mas- 
ters, joined her in insurrection. Without warning they fell 
upon unfortunate Camulodunum and murdered its helpless 
colonists. Suetonius hastened eastward at the alarming news. 
He was too weak to save Londinium (London) and Verulami- 
(St. Albans), which were laid in ruins — seventy or eighty 
thousand men, women, and children fell victims to the rage 
of the rebels. The Romans were far outnumbered, and the 
Britons had every thing to fight for, but soldier was pitted 
against savage, and, as usual, disciplined valor won. The 
wretched queen soon died, some say by self-administered 
poison, some by disease. Suetonius took such dire vengeance 
upon the Icenians and allied tribes that after his recall (61 
A. D.) there was no combined resistance to the Roman con- 
quest. For nearly twenty years but little was added to the 
history of Britain. Roman armies were there, but their 
generals were inactive or unsuccessful. 

The Emperor Vespasian, however, himself a veteran of the 
British wars, put Cnaeus Julius Agricola in command of the 
island (78 A. D.). He was both valorous and virtuous, and to 
the good fortune which gave hirn the historian Tacitus for a 
son-in-law we owe a charming story of his noble life. He add- 
ed Wales to the Roman province, and completed the subjec- 
tion of Anglesey. Wars with the north Britons took him to 
Caledonia, the country since called Scotland, and here, fail- 
ing to subdue the clansmen of the Highlands, though beating 
them in bloody battles, he fortified the northern line from 
Forth to Clyde, re-enforcing this by a second line of forts 
from Solway to the Tyne. To the south Britons the rule of 
Agricola was a period of peace. They now began to adopt 
the ways of life which the Romans had already introduced 
among their kindred in Gaul. Fortified towns sprang up at 
the mouths of the rivers, trade began to divide with agriculture 
and grazing the attention of the people, the mines were 
worked to advantage, and the clothing and domestic arrange- 

38 An Outline History of England. 

ments of Rome were gradually adopted by the children of the 
rough woad-stained warriors who had confronted Caesar and 
followed Boadicea and Caradoc to battle. The good gov- 
ernor who brought about this change was called home (84 
A. D.) by the wicked Domitian, with no reward but the con- 
sciousness of duty done. 

Agricola's successors made no mark in history. For nearly 
forty years the southern half of the island gradually took on 
the character of a Roman province. It doubtless gained in 
wealth in these times of peace, and as its prosperity increased 
its northern frontier was the more threatened by the fierce 
Caledonians. Hadrian, Rome's vigorous monarch, the memo- 
rials of whose travels were set up in nearly every province, 
came to Britain (120 A. D.) and gave orders for strengthen- 
ing Agricola's southern line of forts. The barrier was after- 
ward improved and many times repaired. There are evi- 
dences that it was eighty years in building ; and after fifteen 
hundred years of decay, destruction, and neglect this relic of 
old Rome may still be traced throughout its seventy-three 
miles of windings from Wall's End to Bowness.* 

* From the description given by A. J. Church in The Story of Early Britain 
we condense these facts concerning Hadrian's Wall : 

It consisted of five parts : a trench, a stone-wall, buildings for troops, a 
rampart of earth, military roads. 

1. The Trench. This skirts the northern base of the wall, whatever the 
soil, whether earth or rock. Its dimensions vary. The average has been 
given as " 36 feet wide and 15 feet deep." 

2. The Wall. This was carefully constructed of stone, and its line follows 
the highest ground, passing at its highest point over a summit one thousand 
feet above the sea-level. Its width is eight feet, and perhaps its original 
height was eighteen feet, though now it is much crumbled and broken. 

3. Buildings for Troops. These were of three kinds : (a) Fortified rectan- 
gular camps lying along the southern side of the wall at intervals of four 
miles; (b) mile-castles, smaller camps (fifty feet by sixty feet) at intervals 
of a mile along the wall; (c) between each mile-castle were four turrets, 
or watch-towers, now mostly in ruins. 

4. The Rampart, South of the wall proper, and at a varying distance 

The Early Britons and Roman Britain. 39 

A generation later Agricola's northern line of forts was 
utilized by the Emperor Antoninus Pius as the basis for a 
second system of earth-works, known in its prime as the "Wall 
of Antoninus, but whose ruins time out of mind the Scots have 
called " Graham's Dike." This wall was strengthened early 
in the third century by the Emperor Severus, whom the in- 
cursions of the Caledonian tribes summoned to protect the 
island. He penetrated the highlands with an army, and 
among their mists contracted the disease which ended his life 
(210 A. D.) in the city of York, then called Eboracum. 

The history of the two following centuries is confused in 
places, in other places blank. Rome itself was in turmoil, 
one soldier after another grasping at the purple and drag- 
ging his rival from the throne. Ambitious generals seized 
upon such distant provinces as Britain, and held them in 
comparative independence until the rise of some stronger 
power at Rome re-established the imperial dominion. 

This civil strife was fatal to the peace of Britain. The 
northern Picts, with the Scots from Ireland, surged over wall 
and rampart, plundering and burning in the lowlands, and 
hastening back to the glens of the north before the settlers 
could rally in sufficient force to punish them. In the fourth 
century, as Britain grew more defenseless, these raids were 
redoubled. Ambitious generals in the island dreamed of 
conquering Rome, and sailed away with the legions never to 
return. To the danger from the Celts of the north was 
added one more formidable. The long coast-line of southern 
Britain tempted the piratical Saxons who dwelt upon the 

from it, is the rampart — a trench with bordering walls of stone and earth, one 
on its northern and two on its southern border. 

5. Roads. A stone-paved military way connected camp with camp, fur- 
nishing every means of transport for men and stores. South of the rampart 
was a similar road. 

The whole work constituted a fortress available against enemies on either 
hand. Ten thousand men were needed to defend it properly. 

to An Outline History of England. 

shores and about the mouths of the German rivers. They 
were bold seamen, pagans in religion, unbroken by Rome, 
and they swooped down merely for plunder. The Roman 
commanders, with their scanty forces, were at their wit's end 
to repel them. The imperial city, beset by foes as cruel, 
sent but feeble succors. In 367 A. D. the prowess of 
Theodosius had driven back Pict, Scot, and Saxon, but only 
forty-three years later, when the British cities begged for 
aid, the Emperor Honorius sent back the disgraceful mes- 
sage: "Shift for yourselves henceforth; Rome cannot help 
you." After this the end of Britain came quickly, not from 
Celt, but from Saxon, and the making of England was 

Of the internal condition of the people very little is known. 
While the south was at peace the northern Avails afforded 
some protection from the assaults of the Picts and Scots — 
the latter a fierce tribe which had come from Ireland to give 
its name to north Britain. The plow-man, the grave-digger, 
and the delving builder of our own time contribute what- 
ever information we have of the social condition of the British 
people. Plowshare and spade have turned up bronze 
helmets and battle-axes of Roman workmanship, funereal 
urns and baser pots and kettles for household use, and many 
coins bearing the effigies of Roman emperors. Remnants of 
porticoes and inlaid floors in Roman style have been laid 
bare, testifying to the magnificence of the villas which 
dotted the pleasant country. Remnants of old Roman city 
walls may yet be seen at Chester and elsewhere. The 
straight lines of old Roman roads strike across moor and 
plain. In the geographical names, -coin (Latin colonia, 
"colony") and -Chester (Latin castra, "camp") reveal the 
site of early settlements. Although the Roman civilization 
prevailed, and Latin was the language of court and Church — 
for in the fourth century Christian missionaries had come 
to Britain, and one of them, St. Alban, is said to have died 

The Early Britons and Roman Britain. 41 

for his faith at Verulamium, since christened St. Albans in 
honor of the martyr — nevertheless the Roman blood ami 
tongue show themselves but slightly in the nation we now call 
English. On the Continent — in Italy, in France, in Spain — 
Rome made conquests which influenced permanently the na- 
tional character and language. Their people, inextricably 
mingled now with the conquering tribes which swept down 
from the north to the south of the Roman Empire, are still 
the " Latin races ; " their languages, strongly individualized 
as they have been by the clumsy organs of Lombard and 
Frank and Goth, are still the " Romance " languages, and re- 
tain a similarity to the speech of Cicero. England stands 
apart from these nations. Like them, she was for centuries 
a portion of the Roman realm, and, like them, she was over- 
run by tribes of heathen Germans, yet out of the long- 
welter she comes with not a trace of Roman manners, and 
scarcely a Latin word is on her lips. 

42 An Outline History of England. 




In this and the succeeding chapter will be sketched the 
main events in the process of transformation which took place 
in southern Britain after the withdrawal of the Roman gar- 
risons, which left the Britons naked to their enemies, the Picts 
and Scots of north Britain, and the pirates from the German 
lowlands. The sources of the history of this period are 
choked and for the most part dry. For the British side of 
the story the Latin annalists recorded little that has survived, 
and on the other hand it was years before the German 
conquerors were sufficiently civilized to make and preserve the 
formal story of their conquest. The period on which we 
now enter opens with the year 410 A. D. For a century 
previous there had been a mysterious movement of German- 
speaking tribes westward across northern Europe. It was 
perhaps another of those pulse-beats of the Aryan race such 
as had sent forth the Hellenes, the Latins, and the Celts in re- 
moter ages. Some of these German, or Teutonic, hordes 
menaced the open frontier of the Roman Empire, and many 
times broke through and overran its provinces. The Ro- 
man emperors were kept in the field in continual efforts to 
check this resistless tide of paganism. To defend Italy and 
the eternal city itself the outlying provinces had to be sac- 
rificed. In 410 the Emperor Honorius called home to Italy 
the garrisons which had held the long lines of the northern 
ramparts of Britain and guarded with steady vigilance the 
ports along the Channel, It was too late to save Rome j 

The English Kingdoms. 43 

before the close of the century Odoacer, the German, had 
stripped the purple from the last of the Caesars, Augustus the 
Little, and Italy became the prey of Vandal, Goth, and Lom- 
bard. The Franks poured into Gaul, and, mingling with 
the Romanized Celts, formed France and the French nation ; 
the West Goths seized upon the Roman provinces in Spain 
and founded the Spanish race. We shall soon see how a trio 
of German-speaking tribes crossed the channel, made them- 
selves masters of southern Britain, and there made England 
and the English nation. 

It was in 449 A. D., according to the oldest chronicles, that 
the English invaders first seized and kept a slice of British soil. 
They were Jutes by name, a tribe speaking a dialect of the 
German language and coming from the southern part of 
the peninsula now occupied by Denmark, although still bear- 
ing the name Jutland. South of them and along the sea- 
coast to the westward dwelt two nearly related tribes, the 
Saxons and the Angles, whom the success of the first 
comers soon tempted to similar raids, which ended in the 
Anglo-Saxon sovereignty of the island, spreading over it 
their English language, and finally giving to it the glorious 
name of Angle-land, or England. 

Vortigern, British king of Kent, was guilty of intro- 
ducing the Jutes into his country. The Picts harassed him, 
and the German pirates plundered his sea-board. So his 
crafty head conceived the plan of playing off pirate against 
Pict, in the hope of destroying both foes. The device called 
down his own destruction. Two Jutish chiefs, Hengist and 
Horsa, accepted his terms, drove out the Picts (449 A. D.), 
and, instead of retiring with their reward, turned upon the 
men of Kent and drove them from their homes. Horsa 
perished in the war, but Hengist lived long enough to estab- 
lish the strong Jutish kingdom of Kent, which at his death 
(479) descended to his son. 

Before the spirit of Hengist, the Jute, took its flight to 

44 An Outline History of England. 

Valhalla, the heaven of northern warriors, reports of his rich 
prize had crossed the sea, and Ella, the Saxon, with three sons 
and three ship-loads of buccaneers, had set sail for this land of 
promise, no longer guarded by the Roman buckler. In 411 
they landed on the channel coast near the modern Chichester, 
and made a place there for their kingdom of Sussex (South 
Saxony) by killing or enslaving the luckless Celts. Such terror 
of the Saxon name sank into the Celtic mind that the English 
traveler still finds himself called a Saxon in Celtic Wales or 
in Celtic Scotland. As the British Celts called all the invad- 
ers Saxons, from whatsoever tribe they sprang, so the in- 
vaders had but one contemptuous term for all the islanders; 
they were Welsh (foreigners or aliens) to them, and Welsh 
their descendants are called to this day. 

The third English kingdom was destined to become the 
greatest. In 495, about the time when Ella and his sons 
had hewn out Sussex with the sword, two other German 
chiefs of Saxon blood, Cerdic and his son, Cynric, came coast- 
ing down the channel, and, finding the Jutes settled in Kent 
and their kinsmen in Sussex, kept on to Southampton Water, 
on whose shores they first set foot and fought the Welsh. 
The latter were now thoroughly alarmed at the rise of the 
heathen kingdoms among them, and gave Cerdic's men 
stiff battle. But the Saxons, though twice beaten off, re- 
turned with more ships and Jutish allies, and did finally con- 
quer a foothold which grew in the thirty years of Cerdic's 
life-time to be Wessex, the kingdom of the West Saxons. 
From this stout Saxon Cerdic, the royal line of England 
may be traced through the families of Plantagenet, Tudor, 
and Stuart to the present House of Hanover, of which Queen 
Victoria is the head. This historic Cerdic, in one. of his 
attempts to push his dominion to the north-west, encountered 
a British chieftain, Arthur, " the flower of kings," whose 
name is interwoven with all the legends of that time, and has 
L;.iined new luster in the poetry of our own. At Baden Hill, or 


IN 597 

Longitude West 2 from Greenwich 

The English Kingdoms. 4o 

Badbury, near Bath, in modern Dorsetshire, this prince met 
and repulsed the Saxons, doing the work so thoroughly that 
they advanced no farther on that line for fifty years. Here 
alone history touches the story of Arthur. The songs of the 
Celtic bards took up the tale and made their prince and the 
" fifty Knights of his Table Round " the theme of a wonder- 
ful story, which, oft-repeated, has gained in charm with each 
retelling, and now greets us in .perfection in Tennyson's 
" Idyls of the King." After Arthur and Cerdic had departed 
the battle raged again, and in 577 a West Saxon monarch 
won the valleys of the lower Severn and upper Thames by 
his victory at Deorham, in Gloucestershire. In the lower 
course of the Thames the Middle Saxons had set up about 
London the small state of Middlesex, and in Essex, farther 
east, were the East Saxons. 

■ It was neither Jute nor Saxon, but their kinsman the Angle, 
who occupied the greater part of the country and bequeathed 
his name to the whole. Yet history has no clear record of how 
or when the Angles came. They settled on the eastern coast 
and in the valley of the Trent in the midlands. Between the 
Thames and the Wash lay their kingdom of East Anglia, di- 
vided between the North Folk and the South Folk (now Nor- 
folk and Suffolk counties). North of the Huniber, and extend- 
ing beyond the present limits of England, was Northumbria, at 
times a united and complete kingdom of the Angles, at another 
under the divided sway of Deira in the south and Bernicia 
in the north. In mid-Britain was the last of these heathen 
States — Mercia, the border or march land. It cannot be said 
with certainty when it was founded, nor whether Saxon or 
Angle predominated in its population, but its retired position, 
and the genius of its monarchs, give it for a time a large 
place in the history of the island. 

Of all these kingdoms seven, Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Essex, 
East Anglia, Northumbria, and Mercia, were the more im- 
portant, and are sometimes grouped together as the Saxon 

46 An Outline History of England. 

Heptarchy, or rule of seven. But they were in no sense a 
league of seven states. No sooner had they overcome the 
Britons than they turned their arms against each other. 
Their constant wars ravaged the island and kept it weak. 
The only unity was that of overlordship, to which from time 
to time some strong king, Bretwalda (wielder of Britain), 
raised himself and maintained for a few years. The states 
had no definite boundaries, but waxed and waned in direct 
ratio of their conquests from the Welsh and from each other. 

The seventh century dawned upon a Britain one third of 
which was British, two thirds English. The division was on 
a north and south line. As the map indicates, the Celts had 
retired into the hill country of the west, leaving the plains 
and river-basins of the east to the German tribes. The un- 
subdued west country then comprised West Wales (now 
Cornwall), North Wales (the Wales of later times), Cumbria 
(Lancashire and the lake country), and Strathclyde, lying on 
both sides of the Scottish border. The English had now 
thoroughly established their conquest, and they no longer 
waged a war of extermination upon the islanders. We may 
profitably turn aside from the course of events to learn what 
manner of men were these early English who superseded the 
Romans as masters of Britain. 

Whence they came we know, and we know, too, that they 
brought with them the religion, government, and social sys- 
tem under which they had lived in the older Angle-land beyond 
the German Ocean. Their religion was that of all the North 
German and Scandinavian tribes — a belief in many divini- 
ties, male and female. Woden, or Oden, the war-god, the 
direct ancestor of their royal families; Thor, the thunder- 
wielder; Frea, giver of peace and plenty; Saetere, little 
known to us, and Tiw, an avenging deity — all these names 
we, the children of the north, unconsciously commemorate in 
the Tiw's-day, Woden's-day, Thor's-day, Frea's-day, and 
SaBtere's-day of our calendar. Eostre, the English goddess 

The English Kingdoms. 47 

of the dawn, strangely gives name to the Christian Easter. 
Nicor, a mischievous spirit, is the " Old Nick" of our common 
speech. But, beyond these names and a few local super- 
stitions lingering among the English peasants, the old re- 
ligion has perished utterly, leaving no lasting impress. 

It was not so with the early English system of govern- 
ment; the revolutions and changes of a thousand years have 
obscured but not effaced the principles which the English 
brought with them to their new abode. The German people 
were clannish. Those of the same name and family con- 
nection dwelt together, forming village commonwealths. The 
freemen of the village, the lesser " churls," and the more 
wealthy and influential " earls " met in town-meetings to 
consider questions of public concern, and to try criminals and 
award justice in disputes between freeman and freeman. 
Besides these freemen there were many serfs and slaves — 
the former personally free, but without political rights, 
the latter captives in war, or churls whom desperate poverty 
had forced to sell themselves. The tribe, which was made 
up of a number of these village communities, had its ealder- 
man (alderman), and in their English conquests several tribes 
united under a king. The crown was partly hereditary, 
partly elective. It remained in one family, but did not pass 
by law from father to son. The elders, or wise men (witan), 
in their moot or meeting (witenagemot), selected from the 
men of royal blood the one best fitted to lead them in war 
and guide them in peace. This witenagemot, or council of 
the elders, met frequently, and besides electing the monarch 
gave him advice in times of need.. Its action may not have 
been strictly binding, but he would be a headstrong ruler 
w r ho would persist in a course which the first men of his 
realm opposed. The king led the armed freemen to 
battle, and decided their most serious lawsuits in time of 
peace. He owned land like a common freeman, but he had 
likewise the management of the public land, or folk-land, 

48 An Outline History of England. 

which belonged neither to individual nor community, but to 
the State. This he granted to his followers in return for 
service done — to his best lieutenants in war and to the trusted 
body-servants who formed his household, or court, and super- 
intended the details of his business. These men were called 
the king's thanes, or servants, but their position brought 
them such wealth and distinction that they soon ranked 
above the older aristocracy (the earls of the village common- 
wealths), and thane became a coveted title of nobility. As 
the kingdoms increased in extent it became inconvenient for 
many of the elders to attend the witenagemot, so that, ex- 
cept upon extraordinary occasions, the royal thanes sat 
almost alone in the council of the king, though the abbots 
and bishops seem to have been associated with them after the 
conversion of the island to Christianity. 

From the architecture and domestic arrangements of the 
Romans to the homely dwellings of the English was a long 
step downward. The new-comers were agriculturists and 
fiVhtins: men — not traders — and active commercial inter- 
course between England and the Continent was interrupted 
for years. The farmers bred swine and horned cattle, and 
sowed wheat and barley in the better soils. They lived in 
rough huts and halls of wood or stone, with no glazed 
windows, a hole in the roof for a smoke-flue, beaten earth or 
flag-stones for floor, with rushes strewn upon it for carpets. 
They sat at meat, instead of reclining in the Roman fashion, 
and they ate with knives of steel and spoons of iron or horn. 
They were none too nice in table manners, and the English- 
man of this period used no forks. Beef and pork formed their 
principal food, washed down with copious draughts of ale 
and strong mead made from honey. They were hard drinkers 
and hard lighters, these early English, and their wild lives 
were usually cut short by battle or pestilence. The tankards 
and drinking-horns of the period show slight appreciation of 
art, and the literature of the heathen time is only relieved of 

The English Kingdoms. 49 

its barrenness by the single epic poem of Beowulf, com- 
posed by an unknown Saxon singer before the migration, and 
brought to England in the memory of his fellow-tribesmen. 

The English differed in one important particular from the 
kindred nations which wrested France, Italy, and Spain from 
Rome. Those conquering races adopted the religion as well 
as the language, and to some extent the laws, of the con- 
quered. Scarcely a British word survives in the English 
language, scarcely a Celtic' line in the English face, and it 
was no British mission, but one straight from Rome, which 
first turned the English pagans from their idols to the living 
God. The feeling between the two races was too bitter to 
encourage the British Christians to mission-work among the 
Saxons. The English invaders came slaughtering and burn- 
ing, and the horrified Britons who escaped their axes and 
arrows fled westward, cursing the barbarous intruder. The 
priest Gildas,tbe one British writer of the period, speaks with 
utter loathing of these blonde butchers, " hateful not only to 
man, but to God himself." They were scarcely considered to 
possess souls worth the saving. Four generations were born 
and buried before this horror died away, and intercourse be- 
tween the peoples gradually obliterated differences of race. 
Yet the Britons sent out one famous missionary, Patrick, the 
saint who led in the conversion of the Celts of Ireland in the 
fifth century. From Ireland, which after St. Patrick's de- 
cease became the seat of an active Christian Church, mis- 
sionaries lifted the cross of Christ in the heart of Europe, 
on the sea-coast of Holland, and among those Picts who had 
once been the terror of the British Isles. It was an Irish 
priest, St. Columba, who founded the school and monastery 
whose ruins still attract the tourist to the storm-beaten island 
of Iona, off the Scottish west coast. Thus, although the British 
Church was powerless for good, the earnest and devoted 
Irish clergy from Iona shared with the Roman missionaries 
the labor and the crown of England's conversion. 

50 An Outline History of England. 

A familiar story recites how Pope Gregory the Great, 
when a young clergyman at Rome, was attracted by the faces 
of some fair-haired youths in the motley stock of the slave 
market. " Who are these ?" he asked of the dealer. " These 
are English — Angles," said the man. " What sweet faces ! 
Surely not Angles, but angels I" (non Angli, sed angeli !) 
exclaimed the pitying priest. " Whence come they ?" " From 
Deira." " De ira!" was Gregory's Latin comment. "'From 
God's ire' verily they are snatched, and they shall come 
to know the mercy of Christ! Who rules in that land?" 
"iElla." The young man passed on musing, and straight- 
way vowed that " Alleluia " should be sung in ^Ella's realm. 
This priest afterward became the pope, or head, of the whole 
Christian Church except that of Ireland, and set about the 
fulfillment of his vow. 

Kent was the threshold of Britain. The first Romans and 
the first Englishmen had landed there, and Christianity en- 
tered by the same door. Ethelbert, the pagan king of Kent, 
a king so influential among the neighboring states that the 
chroniclers entitle him Bretwalda, had married a Christian 
princess, Bertha, daughter of a Frankish king on the other 
side of the Channel. The queen was allowed to worship as she 
pleased, and it was her pleasure to establish a Christian 
chapel in the royal town of Canterbury. To her protecting 
court Pope Gregory sent Augustine, an abbot, with a band 
of preaching monks, in 597 A. D. King Ethelbert feared 
magic, and preferred to meet the strangers from Rome on 
the Kentish hill-side rather than in his hall. After a few 
months' delay he accepted their religion, and multitudes of 
Kentish men professed conversion and were baptized. 
Augustine was made Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of 
the Church of England, and pressed the evangelizing work 
beyond the boundaries of the kingdom. Essex forsook 
Woden and Thor and turned to Christ. Bishops were ap- 
pointed to the sees of London and Rochester. The British 

The English Kingdoms. 51 

clergy were invited to aid in the work, but jealousy and cer- 
emonial differences interfered, and Augustine kept on alone. 

Edwin, king of Northumbria, was the next point of attack. 
He is the fifth Bretwalda of the old historians, but in 
his boyhood it had seemed unlikely that he would ever rule 
even the kingdom to which his birth entitled him. But he 
fought himself into his rightful place, on the throne of 
Northumbria, and mastered many of his neighbors. Edin- 
burgh, on the Forth, was Edwin's burg, or fortress, in the 
north. At Chester, on the Dee, he built the fleet with 
which he took the islands of Man and Anglesea, in the Irish 
Sea. But we must go back a few years to the king's conver- 

His queen, Ethelburga of Kent, was the daughter of 
Ethelbert, Augustine's royal convert, and she, like Bertha, 
was allowed to worship her God in this heathen court. It is 
said that the king was persuaded by Paulinus, his queen's 
chaplain, who preached Christ to the king in his witenage- 
mot, before his priests and lords. Said a noble:* " So seems 
the life of man, O king : as a sparrow's flight through the 
hall when you are sitting at meat in winter-tide, with the 
warm fire lighted on the hearth, but the icy rain-storm with- 
out. The sparrow flies in at one door, and tarries for a mo- 
ment in the light and heat of the hearth-fire, and then flying 
forth from the other vanishes into the winter darkness 
whence it ^ime. So tarries for a moment the life of man in 
our sight, but what is before it, what after it, we know not. 
If this new teaching tells us aught certainly of these, let us 
follow it." King and council were won over to the Christian 
side, and the aged high-priest Coin led the band which 
desecrated the heathen temple. Thus commenced the conver- 
sion of the Northumbrians. In East Anglia the influence of 
the Bretwalda, Ethelbert, good Bertha's husband, wrought 
the conversion of Redwald, the king, but it is said that the 
♦Green's Short History of the English People, p. 21 (Amer. edition). 

52 An Outline History of England. 

common people clung so fondly to the old gods that the 
king allowed Christians and heathen to worship in the same 

After the first triumph of the new faith its outward success 
ceased for a time. The conversion of a king did not regen- 
erate the hearts of his people, nor always of his own family. 
Ethelbert's son, Edbald, was a royal backslider, and the 
Christian bishops of that kingdom were discouraged to the 
point of leaving the island when, as by miracle, his heart 
was softened and Kent reclaimed. Essex also fell into the 
old ways, and at Edwin's death (633) the gods whom Coifi had 
insulted won back their Northumbrian worshipers. 

The defeat and death of the Bretwalda Edwin by Penda, 
king of Mercia, introduces a new figure. The Mercians were 
so far inland that they had not yet been reached by Augus- 
tine's monks. Penda's court would thus become the refuge 
of those whom the downfall of the old religion affected in 
Kent, Essex, East Anglia, and Northumbria. Priests and 
employees of the Woden worship, used to the reverence of 
the people and the favor of the king, would in general resist 
the entrance of the Roman clergy. The disaffection of the 
common people of the partially Christianized kingdoms also 
encouraged Penda to raise the standard of Woden and make 
war upon Christians in the name of the old religion. A Welsh 
prince, Cadwallon, joined his forces with the Mercian army, 
and after conquering a wide realm from his neighbors in 
central Britain, Penda struck down Edwin of Northumbria, 
and Sigbert of East Anglia, and won the title of Bretwalda. 
Oswald, the new king, stopped Cadwallon's northward ad- 
vance in the battle of " Heaven's Field " (635), fighting under 
the standard of the cross. The cross of Oswald was not of 
Roman origin. In his youth Prince Oswald had been convert- 
ed by the Irish monks of Iona, and when he became king of 
Northumbria he summoned missionaries from that monastery, 
and not from Canterbury, to labor among his people. Aidan 

The English Kingdoms. 53 

came and was made a bishop, with his seat at Lindisfarne, 
or the Holy Isle, near the mouth of the Tweed. Oswald's 
conversion was thorough, and wherever he carried his con- 
quests he set up the cross. Wessex, already the preaching- 
ground of Gaulish monks, owned his overlordship, and 
its king professed his Christ. This isolated Penda and his 
heathen kingdom, but they still held out a score of years. 
Oswald fell, like Edwin, in battle (642) with the pagan, and 
was succeeded by Oswy. Aidan's pious monks of Lindis- 
farne never ceased teaching and preaching among the North- 
umbrians ; they even found a way to Mercia and to the heart 
of King Penda's son, but they could not touch the old king. 
He persecuted none, but yielded nothing. In 655 Oswy, of 
Northumbria, vowed to give God his daughter and twelve 
monasteries if so he might rid his realm of the heathen who 
had vexed it. The battle was fought at Winw^ed, and 
Penda, the champion of the old religion, there met his 
death. Henceforth the Gospel was freely proclaimed in 
Mercia, and the last of the English kingdoms accepted the 
new faith. 

From the landing of St. Augustine in Kent to Penda's 
defeat and death was scarcely sixty years, a short time 
for the conversion of a land like England. In fact, we must 
believe that it was only in courts and towns, and upon the 
more cultivated few, that the early preachers made their 
impression. The farmer on the moor-land, the peasant in 
his hut, the miner, the shepherd, and the fisherman long lived 
in utter darkness until the self-sacrificing zeal of the monks 
brought the Gospel to their humble doors. The Abbey of 
Lindisfarne was the great northern school which trained many 
missionaries. Ceadda, or St. Chad (whose memory is still 
revered at Lichfield), w r as the evangel of middle England, 
and St. Cuthbert, another, is the patron saint of the north 
countrymen. Melrose Abbey, in the Scottish Lowlands, w r as 
his mission station, whither he returned alter long tours 

54 An Outline History of England. 

among the villagers. Himself a Northumbrian shepherd boy, 
he was nearer to the hearts and lives of his people than were 
the Irish monks of Iona and Lindisfarne, and his sowing came 
to a rich reaping. The story of his life is beautiful for its 
humble service, simple faith, and unselfish devotion to God 
and the welfare of his countrymen. 

The English Christians of the seventh century were not 
united. Each kingdom had its independent bishop and 
clergy, and, indeed, the bishops were not of one belief nor of 
one practice. While the south-eastern churches looked up 
to the Roman pope, as they had been taught by Augustine 
and his Canterbury monks, the north, which had been illu- 
mined by the light from Lindisfarne, acknowledged the su- 
premacy, not of the Roman but of the Celtic Church, which 
St. Patrick had nurtured in Ireland and St. Columba had 
transplanted to Britain. Both branches were Christian, but 
the protracted isolation of the Irish and Roman branches had 
given rise to differences between them which tended to bit- 
ter strife. The controversy concerned only such slight mat- 
ters as the date of Easter, form of tonsure, and minor cere- 
monials, but while it lasted it was an evil, and King Oswy did 
well to bring it to an end. In 664 he summoned represent- 
atives from Iona and Canterbury to the monastery of Whitby, 
memorable as the abode of Caedmon, the first English poet, 
and bade each party to set forth its case. His decision, which 
was for the Roman usages, cleared the way for the unification 
of the English Church. Theodore of Tarsus, whom the pope 
consecrated archbishop of Canterbury (669), brought order 
and system into the religious establishment. His far-seeing 
eye laid off the English kingdoms into a larger number of dio- 
ceses, each in charge of a bishop, each bishop subject to the 
primate or archbishop of Canterbury. (It Avas not until after 
Theodore's death that the northern dioceses were gathered 
into a second province under the primacy of the archbishop 
of York.) The wandering preachers gave place to local 

The English Kingdoms. 55 

priests, and the churches and chapels, monasteries and 
schools, which multiplied in England, gave witness to the 
wisdom and skill of Theodore's directing hand. The Celtic 
influence, defeated in Whitby Synod, was withdrawn. Col- 
man, the abbot, and his monks retired from Lindisfarne, and 
the walls of Iona crumbled in neglect. For eight hundred 
years the Church of England, the center of its education 
and literature, acknowledged the pope of Rome as its earthly 
ruler. The result was twofold: England was again linked 
to the Continent, whose nations were now all Catholic Chris- 
tians, and the unification of the English Church prefigured 
and expedited the unification of the English kingdoms. 

The English clergy, meeting from time to time in national 
councils, foretold that the boundaries of Wessex, Mercia, 
and Northumbria, and the lesser states, would vanish and 
•give place to one grand English kingdom. The events which 
marked the progress of this consolidation extend through 
a long period. The English conquests began in the middle of 
the fifth century (449); they were substantially completed by 
the middle of the sixth, when three fifths of England was 
divided among seven superior and a half-dozen lesser Anglo- 
Saxon kingdoms. Then followed the successive rise of sep- 
arate states to temporary pre-eminence among their neigh- 
bors. Some of these we have noticed in our account of the 
conversion of Britain, and have seen seven Bretwaldas, the 
last three of whom were the powerful Northumbrian kings, 
Edwin, Oswald, and Oswy. The son of Oswy extended the 
supremacy of Northumbria over Cumbria (now Lancashire 
and Westmoreland), and then (685), in battle with the Picts, 
lost his life and his country's position. Although Northum- 
bria was no longer chief among English states it was a leader 
in religious and literary development. Here w r as Lindisfarne, 
ever re-appearing in early history ; Whitby, the home of poor 
Caedmon, the Anglo-Saxon poet, whose "Song of the Cre- 
ation " may have suggested to Milton some scenes of Paradise 

56 Ax Outline History of England. 

Lost; Wearmouth, whence apostles of the Gospel did foreign 
mission-work in Europe, and J arrow, a sacred house famous 
for its monk Beda, whose character and learning distin- 
guished him as "the Venerable Bede." He was the most 
learned man of his time, versed in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and 
his mother-tongue, the Low German dialect of the Angles. 
The fruits of his study were many books, the most valuable 
to us being a Latin history of the English Church, the most 
dear to him and his countrymen being, doubtless, the 
Anglo-Saxon version of the gospels, which employed his last 
hours. He dictated the closing sentences of John's gospel a 
few minutes before his death. 

Mercia, in the Midlands, awakened from heathenism to 
new life, and still ruled by a prince of Penda's Woden-de- 
scended line, aimed to reach the high place from which North- 
umbria fell. Wessex, on the south coast, the kingdom which 
Cerdic founded, but which had remained in obscurity, became 
the chief rival of Mercia. The lesser kingdoms owned now to 
Mercian, now to West Saxon, overlordship. The kings of 
Wessex, as they found opportunity, had steadily driven their 
conquests westward to the Bristol Channel, forcing the 
Britons to the tip of Cornwall's rocky tongue. Ine, who 
ruled for thirty-eight years (688-726), brought British Som- 
erset and Jutish Kent under his power, and drew up a laAV- 
code which still exists; but he could not conquer the Mer- 
cians, who in the next reign made Wessex their tributary 
state. Under King Cuthred the West Saxons broke their 
Mercian yoke in the fight at Burford (752), and never wore 
another of English manufacture. 

The three greater English kingdoms no longer fought 
solely against each other. Northumbria conquered the 
Britons of Strath clyde (756), and tried to guard her coast 
from a new foe — the Danes. Under King Offa (755-794) 
Mercia turned her arms from her kindred against the 
Britons, conquered the Welsh kingdom of Powys, and 

The English Kingdoms. 57 

built a wall — Offa's Dike — connecting the Wye and Dee 
Rivers, and fencing the Celts into the principality of Wales, 
which they still occupy. In order to establish the independ- 
ence of the Church in his kingdom, Offa persuaded the pope 
to consecrate a third English archbishop, whose seat should 
be at Lichfield, and whose province should include all bishop- 
rics between Thames and Humber, but the arrangement did 
not long survive him. Lichfield sank back to an ordinary 
bishopric, and the provinces of Canterbury and York re- 
sumed their Lite possessions. Canterbury has never lost its 
place at the head of the English churches. Offa's kingdom 
was no more permanent than his church-establishment. His 
weak successors were confronted by Egbert, a West Saxon 
king, whom no other English monarch, Angle, Jute, or Saxon, 
could withstand. In his youth Egbert had been excluded 
from the throne of his ancestor Lie, and had been a fugitive 
at Offa's court, and afterward on the Continent, at the court 
which Charles the Great (Charlemagne) was making the 
most splendid in Christendom. Charles conceived the idea 
of reviving the Roman Empire with himself at its head and 
the CI mrch as his ally. At Rome, in St. Peter's Church, 
on Christmas day, 800 A. D., Pope Leo III, placed upon 
Charles's brow the crown of the Roman Caesars. This event 
marks the beginning of the modern history of Europe, 
and the Holy Roman Empire, which that day's act created, 
continued for a thousand years, expiring in the first decade 
of the nineteenth century, its life trampled out by the 
armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. To this empire England 
never became subject; but it is probable that Egbert's expe- 
rience in the conquering armies of the emperor, among the 
statesmen who helped Charles to organize his realm, and 
in that splendid coronation scene at Rome broadened the 
mind of the Saxon and qualified him for the throne. The 
death of a rival left him king of Wessex (802). By brave 
and persistent effort he strengthened his dominions at home, 

58 An Outline History of England. 

reduced Kent and Sussex, Essex and East Anglia in succes- 
sion, defeated the Mercians and gained their submission, and 
led a conquering army into Northumbria. To a greater or 
less degree all England owned his sway. The old title of 
Bretwalda was revived and bestowed upon him, but he was 
more powerful than any of his Mercian or Northumbrian 
predecessors, and fairly merits the distinction " First King 
of the English." He was not the only king in England ; 
the old Saxon kingdoms retained their subkings — some were 
merely tributary to Egbert of Wessex, some were under his 
personal government; but now for the first time since Hengist 
and Horsa plunged through the surf to the beach at Ebbsfleet 
all England was in some slight degree under the control of a 
single ruler. The chronicles of the time are filled witli the 
names of Egbert's battles with the Welshmen, and with 
Norse viking vessels, but he seems to have stoutly held all 
that he won until his death, which took place 837 A. D. 

The English and the Northmen. 69 




Before the death of Egbert (837) England was warned of 
an approaching danger. The tribes of northern Europe, urged 
by some unknown impulse, had recommenced their attacks 
upon the nations of the south. The history of the ninth, 
tenth, and eleventh centuries runs strangely parallel with 
that of the third, fourth, and fifth. In the earlier period the 
Roman Empire was overrun by German barbarians; in the 
later era these German settlers, now civilized and Christian- 
ized, had in their turn to meet the heathen hordes from Nor- 
way, Sweden, and Denmark. The Englishmen who had 
mastered Britain now met, and after strenuous resistance 
yielded to the Danes — the name which in the English chroni- 
cle stands for any and all of the Scandinavian people, whether 
from Norway, Sweden, or from Denmark itself. 

It was in 789, according to the old record, that the Danes 
first landed in England, and for a hundred years plunder 
was the only apparent object of their incursions. " Vikings " 
we call these early pirates, "men of the viks" or bays, in 
which they moored their light craft. Their ships were 
driven by both oar and sail, and were better manned and 
officered than any vessels of the south. Their pirate mas- 
ters coasted along the German Ocean to the Channel, Bis- 
cay, and the Mediterranean. With matchless audacity they 
ascended the Seine and burned Paris, plundered Bordeaux 
on the Garonne, took Lisbon in Portugal, Seville in Spain, 
and despoiled rich Italian sea-ports. These exploits were 

60 An Outline History of England. 

performed by single chiefs at the head of swift squad- 
rons, who swooped down upon unguarded points and es- 
caped with their booty before the stricken people could 
gather force to punish them. Although the earlier Danes 
made no attempt at an English conquest, they soon 
seized upon outlying portions of the British Isles. The 
Orkneys, Shetlands, and Hebrides, with portions of the 
Scottish Highlands and a large part of Ireland, were early 
subject to Danish princes, and the early glory of Ireland — her 
Church and civilization — was lost in the confusion of heathen 
wars and Danish domination. At times the Danes allied 
themselves with the Welsh for a combined assault upon the 
English, and it was such a mixed force that Egbert defeated 
in his famous fight at Hengestesdun (836). 

The successors of Egbert could not maintain his mastery 
over the English kingdoms, and some of them had much ado 
to hold their own realm of Wessex against the downpour of 
Northmen. The old Saxon chronicles abound in notes of 
the Danish attacks. Their ships, singly or in fleets, 
came almost yearly, and they were only beaten off with 
heavy loss. In 851 an armada of three hundred and fifty 
Danish vessels entered the Thames and burned the great 
trading town of London and the sacred city of Canterbury be- 
fore Ethel wolf (837-858), Egbert's son, could drive them back 
to their ships. The monasteries of the north were favorite 
prey of these Woden-worshipers. The abbeys of Wear- 
mouth and Lincoln, Ely, Peterborough, and Croyland were 
burned and their inmates ruthlessly massacred. The brief 
reigns of Ethelbald (858-860) and the first Ethelbert (860- 
866), the elder sons of Ethelwolf of Wessex, were similarly 
distracted by incessant calls to arms. While their younger 
brother, Ethelred I. (866-871), ruled the West Saxons, the 
Danes changed their plan of attack. Abandoning their raids 
and sudden forays, they now came to conquer and dwell among 
the English. Some Norse sagas, or legends, preserved in the 

The English and the Northmen. 




reigned 802-837. 

r. 837-858. 




r. 858-860. 


r. 860-806. 


r. 866-871. 



r. 871-901. 




"the elder,' 

r. 901-925. 


' " The Lady of Mercia. 



r. 925-940. 



r. 940-946. 


r. 946-955. 

'r. 955-959. 

1. Ethelfled = EDGAR = 2. Elfrida. 
I r. 959-975. i 

EDWARD 1. Name = ETHELRED II. = 2. Emma of 

'the martyr," uncertain. I "the unready." I Normandy = 2. Canute. 
r. 975-979. r. 979-1016. I " The Dane, 

r. 1017-1035. 

EDMUND II. "ironside," Alfred, 

r. April 23-Nov. 30, d. 1036. 



r. 1042-1066. 

r. 1040-1042. 



d. 1057, 

m. Agatha. 


The Atheling," 


king in 



d. 1093, 

to. Malcolm 177., 

King of Scots. 



d. 1118, 

w. HENRY I., 

Norman King of 


(Son of William Conqueror.) 

An 0| vi. inf. Ilisvor. s v\;\ 

liters loela&d — another of I lc viking conquests — tell 

fanciful tales of the northern heroes, II is said that the \i- 
king Ragnar Lodbrog stress of' weather upon the 

Northumbriai s - - into a pit of serpents by the 

_.:sh king, and tidings of his miserable death aroused his 
tribesmen to They came in force in 866 and gained 

the upper-hand of and Horthumbria. Four years later 

they occupied Bas whose subking. Edmund. Mas 

offered his freedom if he would exchange his Christianity 
for the heathen religion. Savage cruelties followed his re- 

- ... The king is ished to a tree, scourged with rods, 
made a target for arrows, and finally beheaded. 11 is con- 
stancy under torture won for his memory the admiration of 
his subjects, and not many years after, when the pagans had 
quietly given up their gods for the Gospel, a splendid abbey 
(Bury St. Edmund's r en at the order of Canute, the Danish 
king, above the grave of M Saint " Edmund. Elatod with 
their triumphs, the lords of halt Britain rushed upon Wessex 
to complete their conquest. But they found their match at 
Ashdum x 7i\ where Ethelred, with his young brother, 
Prince Alfred, boat thorn with groat slaughter. The death 
I Ethelred in this same year brought Alfred, the last of 
Etholwolfs sons, to the throne of Wessex. 

King Alfred, "the Groat." was twenty-one years old when 
he faood the responsibility of defending and ruling his king- 
dom. There still oxists a life of this king, written by tho care- 
ful hand of one who know and loved him well. Ilis grace 
and beauty markod him as tho favorite in tho group of young 
princes, and his father had further distinguished him by 
sending him to Rome, at five years of ago, where Pope Leo 
IV", consecrated his flaxen head for tho crown it should one 
day woar. Tho prince had a busy brain, a strong arm, a 
marvelous memory, and loved books as ho did the chase. 
In tho first year of his reign ho fought one doubtful battle 
with his everlasting enemies, and then enjoyed a few years 


The English and the Northmen. 63 

of respite while they were strengthening their hold upon the 
northern kingdoms. In 876, however, the Danes returned to 
Wessex in great force, and could neither be bribed nor ex- 
pelled. Alfred, hard pressed, fled from his palace to the 
swamps of Somersetshire with a small body-guard. Here, 
says a common legend, he sought refuge with a peasant wife, 
who, ignorant of his royal rank, scolded him sharply because 
he let the cakes burn which she had left him to watch. The 
freemen of the south rallied to the standard of the good king 
at Athelney, where he raised a fort among the marshes, and 
whence he sallied forth in the spring of 878 to try conclusions 
with the foe. He won. Guthrum, the Dane, agreed to the 
peace of Wedmore, and was baptized into the Christian 
faith. The peace saved Wessex, but recognized the Dan- 
ish sovereignty of almost the whole of England north of the 
Thames valley, the territory called the Dane-law. The terms 
of the treaty may not have seemed glorious, but it was the sal- 
vation of the West Saxons to enjoy peace at any price at the 
moment when the rest of the island was passing through the 
storm of war. Only once in the next fifteen years was Alfred 
called to battle. In 893 a new influx of Northmen from the 
Continent, under Hastings, joined with the men of the Dane- 
law and the rebellious Welsh against his rising power; but in 
a series of campaigns east and west, led by the king, his son 
Prince Edward, and his son-in-law, Alderman Ethelred of 
Mercia, the invaders were repelled and the insurrection 
crushed (897). 

The history of most of the early kings is either filled with 
battles or left blank. The reader who has complained of 
the confusion of petty wars through which our way has led 
thus far must know the fact that until Alfred's reign the 
chronicle is bare of real statesmanship, or of recorded prog- 
ress in literature and the arts. Alfred was as great in peace 
as in war, and greater in nothing than in the moral purpose 
which pervaded all his activity. " To live worthily " was 

64 An Outline History of England. 

his motto. To protect his realm he devised a more effect- 
ive military system, and built the first royal English navy. 
From the law-codes of the English kingdoms he selected the 
best laws for the government of his own people. To the 
administration of justice in the law-courts he gave personal 
attention, reviewing the decisions of the aldermen and thanes 
who sat as judges, and enforcing their awards and penal- 
ties upon the more powerful offenders. The king took note 
of all the activities of his people; he invented a clock for 
marking time by the burning of candles ; he improved their 
methods of building, and suggested new and better processes 
in the handicrafts. The ignorance that had drifted in upon 
the island with the coming of the Danes vexed him sorely, 
and he labored like a monk to shed abroad a little of learn- 
ing's light. The king himself translated into the Wessex 
dialect the histories and religious books of Northumbrian 
Bede, and such Latin histories of Europe and works upon 
science and travel as he could obtain. Scholars came from 
the Continent at his invitation to revive a taste for learning 
among the English, and the sons of his nobles were carefully 
educated under the royal eye. By him, or by his direction, 
the invaluable English Chronicle, a yearly record of events 
in the island, was compiled from existing annals and main- 
tained long after his death. Kind of heart, simple in tastes 
and manner, strong of will, was this first English hero. King 
Alfred died in the first year of the tenth century, and at the 
threshold of the twentieth we have to confess that no En- 
glish sovereign in the thousand years between has surpassed 
Alfred in his fitness to rule a nation. 

Of Alfred's five children, only one, Edward the Elder, 
wore a crown ; one daughter, Ethelfled, married Ethelred, 
alderman of Mercia, and another daughter became countess 
of Flanders and grandmother of Matilda, the first Norman- 
English queen. Edward inherited many of his father's great 
qualities. He ruled twenty-four years (901-925), and reaped 

The English and the Northmen. 65 

the fruits of "Wed more peace. That treaty had saved Wes- 
sex from the Danes, and Alfred's military and administrative 
reforms had laid the foundations of a stronger kingdom than 
any yet known in the island. Edward took the offensive, 
and with the aid of his sister Ethelfled, the " Lady of the 
Mercians," won back the greater part of the Dane-law. 
The Danes of this region had settled down beside the En- 
glish, adopting their religion and fitting themselves easily to 
the English ways of life. The two races were of kindred an- 
cestry, and spoke closely related languages; both had wor- 
shiped Woden, and neither had been molded by contact 
with the Roman civilization. The lasting hatred which kept 
Briton from Englishman was unknown between Saxons and 
Danes, whose Christian children, dwelling on adjacent farm- 
steads, forgot in time of peace the burnings and massacres of 
their heathen fathers. Over this mixed people of the north 
Edward gained lordship. All Britain — English, Danish, 
W^elsh, Scotch — was subject either to him or to subkings 
who acknowledged his superiority. His authority was great- 
er than that of any preceding monarch, and in his reign 
England advanced far toward a permanent unity. 

A writer of the succeeding century — William, a monk of 
Malmesbury — describes Prince Athelstan, or Ethelstane 
(925-940), Avho was chosen to the throne of Edward, his 
father: " He was of proper stature, thin in person, his hair 
flaxen and beautifully wreathed with golden threads. Lib- 
eral he was of his wealth, humble and courteous toward the 
clergy, mild and pleasant to the laity, practicing dignity and 
reserve toward his nobles, and greeting the common people 
Avith all kindness." The same monkish writer tells of the 
king's battle with the Northumbrian Danes, or rather with 
Anlaf, a viking who aroused Northumbrians, Welsh, and 
Scots against the kino; of the south. The northern league 
was shattered in the battle of Brunanburgh, celebrated in 
popular song and story for years to come. A few nights 

66 An Outline History of England. 

before the battle came Anlaf (or Olaf) to Athelstan in 
minstrel guise singing and playing in the royal tent. The 
Saxon flung him a piece of gold, which the proud Dane 
scornfully buried in the earth. A Danish deserter in the 
camp recognized his old master, and after his departure told 
the king who the minstrel was. Athelstan changed his sleep- 
ing-place that night, and wisely, for at midnight the camp 
was surprised and the bishop, who slept where the royal tent 
had stood, was slain by the false minstrel's men. A few 
days later Brunanburgh was fought and Anlaf soundly 
beaten. This was the bloodiest conflict yet known in 
England. * 

* Professor Henry Morley has translated the Saxon poem commemorating 
the fight at Brunanburgh, extracts of which are given here : 

" This year King Athelstan, the lord of earls, 

King-giver to the warriors, Edmund, too, 

His brother, won in fight with edge of swords 

Life-long renown at Brunanburgh. The sons 

Of Edward clave with the forged steel the wall 

Of linden shields. The spirit of their sires 

Made them defenders of the land, its wealth, 

Its homes, in many a fight with many a foe. 

Low lay the Scottish foes, and death-doomed fell 

The shipmen; the field streamed with warriors' blood, 

When rose at morning tide the glorious star, 

The sun, God's shining candle, until sank 

The noble creature to its setting. There 

Lay many a northern warrior, struck with darts 

Shot from above the shield, and scattered wide ; 

As fled the Scots, weary and sick of war, 

Forth followed the West Saxons. . . . 

" Then in their mailed ships on the stormy seas 
The Northmen went, the leavings of red darts, 
Through the deep water Dublin once again 
Ireland to seek, abased. Fame-bearing went 
Meanwhile to their own land, West Saxon's land, 
The brothers, king and Atheling. They left 
The carcasses behind them, to be shared 
By livid kite, swart raven, horny-beaked, 
And the white eagle of the goodly plumes, 
The greedy war-hawk, and gray forest wolf, 
Who ate the carrion." 

The English and the Northmen. 67 

The hero of Brunanburgh survived the victory scarcely 
three years, his brother, Edmund the Magnificent, succeed- 
ing at his death in 940. Athelstan's was a notable reign. 
It cemented the parts of England into more perfect union, 
and it brought the royal family into new relations with the 
outer world. Hugh Capet, the founder of a long line of 
French kings, was the son of one of Athelstan's sisters, and 
Otto the Great, Emperor of Germany (the Holy Roman Em- 
pire), was the husband of another. To show his own inde- 
pendence of the empire, which then claimed sovereignty 
over Western Europe, the king called himself emperor {im- 
perator) of Britain — a title much admired and used by his 
descendants. This "emperor" had been Alfred's favorite 
grandchild, and in him was some of his grandsire's wis- 
dom. It was made easier for the yeoman to obtain justice 
in the law-courts, and provision was made to relieve the 
wants of the poor. " Frith guilds," * or peace clubs, grew up 
among the people. 

Edmund (940-946), the new king, was called "doer of 
mighty deeds," but what he did he did speedily. Only 
eighteen years old at his coronation, he soon lost his hold 
upon Nortlmnibria, but before his death, at the age of twenty- 
five, he was again its master, and had inspired the restless 
Britains of Cumbria|and Strathc-lyde with wholesome fear. 
As he sat feasting in his hall on St. Augustine's day Leofa, 
an outlaw, entered and sat himself insolently at the table of 
the king. In the affray that followed Leofa killed the king. 

Edred, Edmund's brother, ruled the island nine years 
(946-955) as " king of the Anglo-Saxons and Ca3sar of all 
Britain." In his day the Northumbrian Danes made their 
final stand under Eric, a prince of the Northmen. Their 
defeat marks the end of a kingdom once the leader of 

* " Every member of them swore to help his associates in all cases of 
need. They were leagues against violence and fraud, benefit clubs, and 
burial clubs." — Early Britain, Alfred J. Church. 

68 An Outline History of England. 

Britain. Their rulers henceforth were earls or aldermen, 
instead of the under-kings who had maintained a semi-inde- 
pendence of the monarchs of the house of Cerdic. It was 
the mind of Dunstan, a Glastonbury monk, that guided 
Ed red in the policy by which he claimed that lofty title of 
Ca?sar. This young man had been driven from King Athel- 
stan's court by the nobles jealous of his learning, his ability, 
and his graceful manner. Had he been of Cerdic's royal 
line he might have become a second Alfred; as it is he must 
be remembered as the first great prime minister of England 
— the forerunner of Lanfranc, Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, 
Pitt, Peel, and Gladstone. The brilliant youth of Athelstan's 
court, the rising Glastonbury abbot of Edmund's later days, 
was the leading statesman of Edred's reign and a bold figure 
in the history of the two succeeding monarchs, Edwy and 
Edgar the Peaceful. In his early convent life young Dun- 
stan had cultivated the powers of head, heart, and hand, 
studying the Greek and Roman literature, practicing benev- 
olence among the poor, and gaining skill in music, painting, 
and the handicrafts. A smith's forge formed part of the 
furniture of the cell which his own hand had built for him- 
self at Glastonbury, and here, said the legend, St. Dunstan 
with red-hot tongs discomfited the tempter who intruded his 
worldly nose upon the good man's meditations. 

It was probably the wise counsel of Dunstan that arranged 
the solemn coronation of Edred. The two archbishops, Can- 
terbury and York, representing the united Church of England, 
jointly placed the crown on Edred's head, and men from all 
the island races — British, English, Danes — shouted applause. 
The same purpose, the unification of England under a single 
king, dictated the reduction of the Northumbrian kingdom 
to an earldom. His interference with the marriage of the 
youthful King Edwy (955-959), and his sympathy with the 
monks in the controversy then raging between the priests of 
the monasteries and the " secular " or parish priests, led to 

The English and the Northmen. 69 

the busy abbot's banishment. But the king's triumph was 
short-lived. The northern earldom revolted, and crownin'sr 
his brother, Edgar, placed hini on Edwy's throne (959). 

Dunstan came in again on the high tide of the revo- 
lution, took his old place at the head of the council, and 
was raised to the archbishopric of Canterbury. His rule, 
for he ruled, though Edgar's head bore the golden circlet, 
was a long stride toward English unity. The conquered 
Danes were treated like Englishmen, and their best men 
held high rank in Church and State, however much the Sax- 
ons growled at the primate's " preference for upstart aliens." 
A royal navy, built and manned by the sons of the vikings, 
guarded the English coasts and protected English commerce 
in the Channel; for England now had a commerce, and a 
lively trade sprang up between London and the French and 
Flemish cities, the English metals and farm products finding 
ready exchange for the fine cloths and manufactures of the 
continental towns. This intercourse with Europe bore fruit 
in the Church also, and many Benedictine monasteries, pat- 
terned upon those abroad, were founded in England. These 
were communities of monks, men who, cut off from the world 
by their vows of poverty, chastity, and benevolence, devoted 
themselves to the works of the Church. The monasteries 
owned wide tracts of land, whose tillage brought vast wealth. 
These were conservatories of learning, art, and science. 
The monks were the* only scholars, and their libraries and 
schools were the only sources of learning. In after centu- 
ries their spiritual and intellectual eminence declined and left 
them rich though worldly, powerful though corrupt. In the 
course of the Reformation in the sixteenth century they were 
swept out of existence, but it must not be forgotten that 
they had their full and splendid share in the making of 

Quarrels between the favored monks and the neglected 
secular clergy were the chief disturbances of Edgar's peace- 

70 An Outline History of England. 

ful reign. The island was tranquil. The Welshmen paid 
yearly tribute of three hundred wolfs' heads, so says 
an old story, until the supply failed. An eight-oared 
crew of vassal kings, says another boasting Saxon, 
manned the barge which King Edgar steered from his palace 
at Chester, on the river Dee, to the Church of St. John. 
The death of this "British emperor," in 975, plunged the 
prosperous realm into a wretched strife. Two princes, 
not yet in their teens, were the only heirs. Edward the 
Martyr, Dunstan's candidate, was finally chosen, but in his 
sixteenth year his step-mother, Elf rida, had him murdered to 
make way for her child Ethelred (979-1016). The little 
prince, boy-like, wept at the news of his brother's fate, and 
his heartless mother beat him soundly for his tenderness. 
When the little fellow grew up, and put on the crown so foully 
won, he showed himself no better than his mother. Ethelred 
(of noble counsel) she had named him, but his wretched 
subjects gave him a name that better suited — the Unready 
(unwise or uncounseled), a title of ignobility. Other men 
than Dunstan (who died 988) directed the government for 
the boy — though there was need of the highest wisdom. 
Since Brunanburgh the Northmen had left troubling England, 
and had built up their three kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, 
and Denmark ; but as the end of the tenth century drew 
nigh, their fleets again crossed the shallow German Ocean, 
bent on adding England to their Scandinavian Empire. The 
"redeless " Ethelred, lacking the spirit of his ancestors who 
had vanquished the same foes, levied a tax, the hated Dane- 
geld (Dane's-money), upon his people to buy immunity. 
This led to fresh incursions. Though the king was cowardly 
his people were not. No royal army opposed the invasion, 
but brave Englishmen, aldermen and commoners, even 
bishops, fought in defense of their own homes. Lack of 
union made the resistance futile. The more the king paid 
for peace the more peace he had to buy. Thirteen times in 

The English and the Northmen. 71 

eighteen years parties of Northmen ravaged portions of the 
land, rendered helpless by taxation and pillage. On the 
thirteenth of November, 1002, the weak and cruel king gave 
the signal for the massacre of all the Danes in England. 
Among the victims was Chriemhild, a sister of Sweyn (Swegen 
or Svend Fork-Beard), king of Denmark and Norway. At 
the news of the massacre, since known as the " Danish ves- 
pers," he gathered the largest armament that had yet in- 
vaded England. Ethelred turned for aid to the Norman- 
French across the Channel, and married Emma, the daughter 
of Duke Richard II. of Normandy. But he got no real assist- 
ance. Sweyn took terrible vengeance for Chriemhild's blood, 
and though Ethelred paid him nearly a half -million dollars 
to quit the island he sent his lieutenants to kill and burn the 
more. In 1013 Sweyn came again, and Ethelred, his author- 
ity limited to his native Wessex, found even that little king- 
dom unsafe. He fled to his wife's relatives in Normandy. 
The news of Sweyn's death, in which Englishmen saw a just 
retribution for sacrilege against St. Edmund's shrine, re- 
called the worthless Saxon king. His son Edmund II., 
called Ironside — a name of even higher distinction in a 
later period — rallied the English against Canute (also spelled 
Cnut), the son of Sweyn. The strife continued for a few 
months after the death of the Unready, Edmund at Lon- 
don and Canute at Southampton dividing the realm. 
The death of the Ironside in the same year left no strong 
scion of Cerdic's stock, and from 1017 to 1035 Canute was 
the sole king of England.* 

King Canute was a Dane of royal race, himself the ruler 


d. 1014. 
CANUTE (CNUT) = Emma of Normandy, 
widow of Ethelred. 


Sweyn. HAROLD I., r. 1040-1043. 

r. 1035-1040. 

72 An Outline History of England. 

of Denmark, Norway, and half Sweden, but he showed the 
breadth of his mind by his policy in governing England. His 
aim was to be an English king in the eyes of his subjects, 
and to this end no distinction was made between the Dane 
and English in the land. The king enriched and strength- 
ened the Church, although it had been the center of the na- 
tional resistance to him and his father, and he honored 
Edmund, the martyr-king, by dedicating to his memory the 
shrine of St. Edmundsbury. " The laws of Edgar,^' as the 
people called the system of government which Dunstan had 
established in the reign of that good king, were restored and 
administered justly. For better government, he divided the 
English realm into four earldoms : Wessex, Mercia, East 
Anglia, and Northumberland, their lords or earls being the 
most powerful men in the kingdom. Curious legends cluster 
about Canute's name. It is said that on one occasion his 
flattering courtiers, extolling his power, told him that even 
the tide of the ocean would obey his will. The king accord- 
ingly caused his throne to be placed on the sands, and there, 
arrayed in his royal robes with his flatterers, awaited the 
flood. Stretching forth his scepter, he bade the waters 
stay their progress. The result is not difficult to imagine 
— king and courtiers hastily regained dry land, having 
learned a lesson in the limits of human authority. From 
that day forward the crown that he had worn was placed 
on the image of the crucified Christ. 

Canute, who began his reign amid hatred and horror, 
died (1035), beloved and reverenced. Two sons, Harold and 
Hardicanute (Harthacnut), divided the empire. For two 
years there was strife in England, but in 1037 the former 
united England under his rule, his brother remaining in Den- 
mark as ruler of his father's continental inheritance. While 
the crown was weakened by this discord the earldoms gained 
in power. The earl of Northumberland was Siward, whose 
fame has gathered interest from Shakespeare's play of Mao 

The English and the Northmen. 73 

beth. Earl Leofric, of Mercia, was the stern husband whose 

lady Godiva rode through Coventry streets one famous 

noon-day, when 

" She took the tax away 
And built herself an everlasting name." 

Godwin, the stout earl of Wessex, needs no poet to tell 
of his lasting renown; his own keen mind and sword have 
carved him a place in English history. Earl Godwin, an En- 
glishman, whose marriage allied him with the royal family of 
Denmark, served Canute faithfully in his life, and is a chief 
actor in the multitudinous events which crowd the stage 
from this time forward to the Norman conquest. As the 
first minister or "justiciar," he had carried out the will of 
Canute and his son, Hardicanute, who ruled the island for a 
few years (1040-1042) after Harold's death. There is a story, 
oft denied and as frequently re-asserted, which accuses God- 
win of betraying to the cruel Harold Ethelred's youngest 
son Alfred, who came to England in the troublous time which 
followed Canute's death, and sought at least a share in the 
kingdom of his father. Hardicanute, a drunken and blood- 
thirsty Northman, died miserably at Lambeth, near London, 
in 1042. Magnus, king of Norway, succeeded to his posses- 
sions in Denmark, but Godwin restored the English power to 
the exiled heir of Cerdic — Edward, the son of that Ethelred 
from whose unsteady hand the rough Danes had wrested the 
scepter. This Edward had the weakness, but not the wicked- 
ness, of Ethelred. His counselors ruled him, and their quar- 
rels disturbed the reign and led to the third and — for eight 
hundred years— the last conquest of England by foreigners. 
Two parties contended for the supremacy in Edward's coun- 
cils. The king himself, though born of an English father, 
had been brought up in Normandy — a duchy on the French 
side of the English Channel, of which we shall hear much 
during the next two centuries. He spoke the Norman-French 
language, and brought with him to England a throng of Nor- 

74 An Outline History of England. 

man courtiers, whom he honored with the highest places in 
his gift. The immense influence of the English Church was 
handed over to the new-comers, in the person of a Robert of 
Jumieges, a Norman monk, who exerted a strong man's 
power over the gentle king. 

It was natural that Godwin,* a born leader, should head the 
party which cried, "England for Englishmen!" For a 
time the earl maintained his place near the king, and his talents 
might have kept him there and curbed the Norman spirit 
had not his own ambition wrought his ruin. He used his of- 
fice for his own aggrandizement. His daughter Edith was 
queen to the fair-haired Edward; two of his sons and his 
nephew ruled as earls a large share of the island. Godwin 
and the English cause were in the ascendant, but the Norman 
courtiers poisoned the ear of the king against the great earl — 
told Edward that Godwin had sold Prince Alfred into Har- 
old's murderous clutches. Some West Saxons insulted a 
Norman count who had wedded the king's sister, and God- 
win refused to punish the offenders without legal trial. Two 
jealous English earls, Godiva's Leofric and Shakespeare's 
Siward, joined forces with Edward and drove the English 
champion and his sons into exile (1051). For a year the 
Norman party triumphed. William, the duke of Normandy, 
visited the king at this time, and afterward swore that Ed- 
ward promised that he should succeed to the English throne, 
though wdiat right the monarch had to make such promises 
does not appear. In 1052 the English had so sickened of 
their Norman masters that they hailed with jo v the return of 
the old earl and his son Harold. Godwin took oath that he 
was guiltless of Alfred's blood. The king received him into 


I I I 

EDWARD, ~ Edith. HAROLD II., Tostig. 

THE CONFESSOR," d. 1066. 

d. 1066. 

The English and the Northmen. Y5 

favor, and the French counts, abbots, and bishops were 
packed off whence they came. Even the lordly Archbishop 
Robert of Canterbury took hasty leave, and a Saxon, Stigand, 
became primate of the English Church. The next year was 
marked by Godwin's death, but not a Frenchman dared come 
back, for Harold, the true son of his father, succeeded to the 
earldom of Wessex and the real direction of royal affairs. 

He exhibited the statesmanship of his father and a military 
talent of his own. While Edward was busy with his chap- 
lains founding churches and monasteries — the abbey of 
Westminster among them — Harold fortified his own posi- 
tion by giving earldoms to his brothers and leading the 
English armies to successful war against the Welsh. That he 
was clearly the first man in England did not escape Duke 
William, who kept keen watch from his neighboring Nor- 
mandy. In 1064 Earl Harold, with his vessel, was cast by 
mischance upon the French coast and became William's 
enforced guest. At a convenient season, two years later, 
William declared that Harold had then owned him lord and 
sworn to support his claim to the crown at Edward's death. 
They say that the duke outwitted the earl by smuggling 
sacred relics under the table on which the oath was taken, 
increasing the sanctity of the agreement. 

Edward died in 1066. The priests, his friends, were also his 
historians, and by their grace he is called " St. Edward " and 
" Edward the Confessor." There was no son to succeed him. 
Of the direct line of Cerdic only Edgar, a stripling, and Mar- 
garet, a girl, survived. William of Normandy, as soon as he 
heard of the Confessor's death, put in his claim by right of his 
wife Matilda's inheritance, by Edward's promise, and Harold's 
extorted oath. But Harold alone was able and at hand. The 
dying king seemed to designate him for the throne, though he 
bespoke for him a short and disastrous reign. The wise men 
(witan) elected the most available candidate — Godwin's son, 
Earl Harold, already actual ruler and general of the army. 

16 An Outline History of England. 

King Harold's reign fulfilled St. Edward's direst prophe- 
cies. Two mighty foes gathered to crush him. His own 
brother, Tostig, then in disgrace, leagued with the king of 
Norway, the famous Harold Hardrada, whose spirit had led 
him from boyhood upon the wildest adventures, for the con- 
quest of England. The Norwegian fleet, swollen by acces- 
sions from Ireland and Scotland, sailed up the Humber, and 
landed not far from York. At Stamford Bridge the English 
Harold gave them battle, first offering his Norse namesake, 
who demanded his kingdom, seven feet of English soil for a 
grave. The English won, and both Tostig and his giant 
ally gained only earth enough to bury them. 

But the worst foe was still unconquered. William of 
Normandy, claiming the throne as heir, demanding the pun- 
ishment of Harold as a perjurer, urging the Normans to 
avenge Godwin's insults toward Archbishop Robert and his 
followers, and possessing Pope Alexander's blessing as a 
missionary to the corrupted English Church — uniting all 
parties by these specious claims — had gathered an army and 
crossed to Pevensey on the south coast. King Harold hasted 
from Stamford to meet the invader. William's army, a 
motley array of fortune-seekers picked up from all France 
and half Europe, attacked the English position on Senlac 
hill, near Hastings. The momentous battle, which took 
place October 14, 1066, is known in history under both 
names. Much was against the Normans. Their leader had 
encouraged them with the pope's blessing, but on landing he 
had stumbled and fallen on his face. Rising, his hands full 
of sand, he cried to his horrified attendants, " See ! by the 
splendor of God, the English soil is already in my grasp." 
In the desperate charges upon the English yeomen his cour- 
age, audacity, and constancy were every-where apparent. 
"The duke is dead," cried a hard-pressed battalion. "I 
live!" cried William, lifting the visor of his helmet, "and 
by God's help I will conquer." Conquer he did. Harold 

The English and the Northmen. 77 

and his body-guard stood by the golden dragon banner of 
Wessex all day long, until near sunset a shaft from a French- 
man's bow blinded the king, and he fell. His English died 
around him, and that night William, the Norman duke, who 
ate and drank and slept on the field among the slain, was 
the real master of England. 

Still he was not king. The witan set up young Edgar, 
son of Edmund Ironside, but there was no iron in his com- 
position, and he and his English adherents soon begged Will- 
iam to take the crown, not as conqueror, but as the rightful 
successor. On Christmas day, 1066, the archbishoj) of Canter- 
bury set the crown upon the head of William the Conqueror. 

Harold's death closes the second period of English his- 
tory ; William's coronation marks the opening of a third and 
grander era in the development of a great nation. 

78 Ax Outline History of England. 




"Norman" is "Northman," and the Norman subjects of 
Duke William were Scandinavians closely akin to the Danes 
who settled in England. Rollo, a Norwegian viking, was 
the first duke of Normandy. His piratical ravages upon the 
banks of the Seine forced Charles the Simple, king of the 
French, to grant to him the lands about the mouth of the 
river (912). In return for this territory Rollo gave up his 
wild life, acknowledged the sovereignty of Charles, wedded 
a princess, and settled down to enlarge the province he had 
secured. His people soon adopted the religion, manners, and 
language of the country, and became Frenchmen, differing 
from their Frankish fellow-countrymen chiefly in physical 
superiority and a masterful quality of mind. Under Rollo's 
descendants the Normandy was one of the most powerful of 
the several dukedoms which made up the French kingdom. 

William, who succeeded to the ducal coronet in 1035, 
was the seventh ruler in direct line from Duke Rollo, the 
viking. Before his name was linked with English affairs his 
government of his inheritance had distinguished him as 
William the Great. A boy with twice a man's spirit, he 
had crowded his way through many obstructions to the chief 
place among the vassals of France. Normandy, a prey to 
the French feudalisms which divided power among nobles 
who waged against each other continual private war, was ham- 
mered into comparative order and tranquillity by this iron 
duke. His indomitable will and political sagacity fitted this 

The Norman Conquerors. 




1st Duke of the Normans, 
reigned 911-927. 



r. 927-943. 



r. 943-996. 


r. 996-1026. 


m. 1. Ethelred II, of 


m. 2. Canute of England 

and Denmark. 

r. 1026-1028. 



r. 1028-1035. 



r. 1035-1087. 


r. 1087-1096 

(from 1096 to 1100 

Duchy held 



and 1100-1106 

(when he was 





r. 1096-1100. 


r. 11 06- 11 •S.- 



Count of Anjou 

and 3faine 

(who won the Duchy 

from Stephen, 1145). 



invested with the 

Duchy 1150, 

d. 1189. 



m. Steiihen, 

Count of Blois 

and Chartres. 




r. 1135-1154. 

r. 1189-1199. 

Norman dukt's in plain capitals. 
English kings underlined. 


r. 1199-1204 

(when Normandy was conquered 

by France), 

60 Ax Outline History of England. 

man of all men to undertake with a few raw troops the con- 
quest and government of England. 

The battle of Hastings did not complete the conquest, 
neither did the surrender of Edgar and the coronation of 
William firmly establish the Norman system. Yet the king 
dared to quit his new-found kingdom, and hasten over to 
Normandy, where the Duchess Matilda ruled the barons as 
regent. To his brother Odo, bishop of Bayeux, and his 
friend, William Fitz-Osbern, he intrusted England in his 
absence. The king's plan was to treat the English as his 
legal subjects, not as a conquered people. By his assertion 
he was the true successor of Edward, Harold being a usurp- 
ing rebel. By the same reasoning Harold's followers were 
traitors to their rightful king, and their possessions were 
forfeited to the crown. These lands and houses William 
granted to the Normans, who had embarked their lives and 
fortunes in his expedition, and thus were founded those En- 
glish families who boast that " they came in with the Con- 
queror." Odo and Fitz-Osbern lacked William's broader 
views, and no sooner was his back turned than they began 
to persecute the unhappy English for their own advantage. 
Money, lands, and houses were wrung from the wealthy 
without distinction of guilt or innocence. Such tyranny 
aroused the spirit of resistance. Only a fragment of England 
had followed Harold at Hastings. The people of the north- 
ern earldoms cared little if a Norman should take from the 
earl of Wessex the crown which his ambition had acquired. 
The nation felt no real attachment for Harold as it did for 
Ethelred's children, Edgar and Margaret, now the wife of 
Malcolm, king of Scots. But the new tyrannies touched the 
life of the people. Every Englishman of wealth or high po- 
sition suffered or was liable to suffer at the hands of the 
Normans. The signal of revolt went through the island. 
Mercia and Northumbria rose under Earls Edwin and Morcar, 
relying upon the promised aid of Sweyn with a fleet and 

The Norman Conquerors. 81 

army of Danes. The Scottish Malcolm added his support to 
the movement in the north. The western rebels found allies 
in the Welsh. In the eastern fen-lands, upon the borders of the 
Norman territory, the outlaw Here ward, " the last of the 
English," held Ely with desperate valor. William returned 
to face these serried dangers. The Danes, the main-stay of 
the insurrection, he bribed into inaction. Isolating the other 
centers of rebellion, he attacked them in turn, and in a series 
of campaigns comprising nearly four years (1068-1071) he 
crushed the rebels singly. Edwin, Morcar, and Ilereward 
died or yielded. King Malcolm did homage for his crown, 
and all the island, save the west and Wales, was pacified. 
The expense of blood and treasure was terrible, but the con- 
quest was thorough. In the north, whose subjection, even to 
Harold and the predecessors of Edward, had been but partial, 
the harshest means were used. Thousands of Northumbrians 
were slain, and their land was ravaged until it became a 
dreary and almost uninhabited Avaste. 

The English were now crushed beyond the possibility of 
resistance. Their leaders were dead or in Norman dungeons, 
and their spirit was broken to the Conqueror's will. Peace 
reigned throughout the kingdom. The soldier-duke whose 
sword had accomplished it now came forward and as the 
statesman -king reorganized the government of the land 
which he had won. Inasmuch as his reforms in the English 
system were based upon the Norman constitution, we must 
review both of the older governments in order to gain clear 
understanding of the new. 

Some features of the English governmental organization 
have already been explained. Its characteristic was the idea 
of home rule. The free people of a village met together to 
settle for themselves all minor political matters and to decide 
suits at law. The same system was applied to groups or 
" hundreds " of these villages ; and a number of " hun- 
dreds " formed the shire or county, with its shire moot, or 

82 An Outline History of England. 

court, where representatives of the " hundreds " met to hear 
appeals from the lower courts. The officers of this shire 
court were the alderman, bishop, and " shire-reeve," or sher- 
iff. The alderman was the representative of the nation, a 
sort of lord-lieutenant ; the reeve was the king's personal 
officer, and the bishop attended to points of church law. 
The judges, or rather the jurymen, were the freemen assem- 
bled in the court. If a convicted man appealed from the 
judgment of the hundred-court to the men of the shire he 
might take the " ordeal," or judgment of God, proving his in- 
nocence by walking unshod over hot iron or eating of poisoned 
cakes. In general the accused brought " compurgators," 
men who swore to his innocence and general character for 
good. The " compurgators, " or oaths-men, cf the plaintiff 
swore to the contrary, and the assembly of freemen com- 
pared the weight, not of evidence, but of the two parties of 
compurgators. In early times " an earl's word balanced six 
common churls [freemen] and one alderman's testimony out- 
weighed a township's oath." Punishment was commonly by 
fines, paid not to the State, but to the injured party. Above 
the shires of England, which were rudely yet not unwisely 
organized, was the king, and to him in his council of great 
men — the witenagemot — the man might appeal from the 
judgment of the lower court. The royal power was, how- 
ever, ill-defined. Through many changes it had grown to 
its proportions under such rulers as Canute and Harold. These 
later sovereigns were kings of England as well as of its people. 
The public land — folkland — had come to be considered the 
property of the monarch, and he might dispose of it at will, 
the witan assenting. Those who received land from him, and 
many who received none, became his thanes or vassals, owing 
him service. The greater thanes he summoned to his witena- 
gemot with the abbots and bishops. With this body he made 
laws, laid taxes, deliberated on peace and war, and appointed 
the officers of state. The system of thaneship extended 

The Norman Conquerors. 83 

throughout society, the smaller land-owners, and even land- 
less freeman, agreeing to do service to an overlord or thane 
in return for his protection. Some of these thanes seem to 
have acquired authority as magistrates to try law-suits be- 
tween their dependents or in the towns (" burghs " or " bor- 
oughs ") which sprung up on their lands. Again, certain 
towns had purchased from their overlord, or from the king, 
the right to hold their own courts, subordinate to the shire- 
moot, but of equal authority with the assembly of the hun- 
dred. To this brief statement it should be added that the 
English shires were allotted among four earldoms — the four 
powerful earls being chosen by king and council from the royal 

In Normandy the feudal system was carried to its full ex- 
tent. The king of France was lord of all the land, and every 
man who owned a foot of soil rendered military service for 
his fief as vassal to a lord. The few great dukes held their 
duchies directly from the king, and so long as they paid the 
stipulated services they were supreme in their own domin- 
ions. These dominions were similarly divided. The duke 
— himself a king's vassal — granted his lands to barons, or 
lesser vassals, on similar terms of faithful service. The ten- 
ants of the barons also did service for the farms they held. 
In each case, from duke to smallest farmer, the same cere- 
monies and terms prevailed. The land held was the " feu- 
dum," or "fief ;" the vassal, or man, swore fealty (fidelity) 
and did homage, placing his bare head in his lord's hands, and 
on bended knee vowing to become his man through all perils. 
This was " feudal tenure," and property so held passed, with 
the attendant obligations and privileges, from father to son. 
In France this land and social system was a means of gov- 
ernment. For with the land the king granted jurisdiction 
over its inhabitants, and duke and baron each held his own 
manorial court, in which the law-suits of his dependents were 
tried. Each tenant of the king contributed a certain num- 

84 An Outline History of England. 

ber of armed retainers to the royal army ; and these soldiers 
of the dukes and barons were frequently employed in private 
wars, one baron against another. The whole system tended 
away from national unity, for the king himself, when stand- 
ing alone, had less power than any one of a half-dozen of his 
proudest vassals. It was by feudal tenure that Duke Will- 
iam held Normandy from the king of France, and by the 
same system his quarrelsome barons held of him. We shall 
see how he and his successors combined the Saxon system 
with French feudalism. 

The English land-owners who fought on Harold's side 
were declared guilty of treason, and their lands reverted to 
the crown. The rebellions from 1068 to 1071 brought about 
the confiscation of nearly all the remaining English estates 
of any magnitude. With these William founded his sys- 
tem — granting them as feudal manors to the Normans of his 
train. He did not transfer the continental system to the 
island without changes. The semi-independence of the four 
great English earldoms which he had encountered warned 
him against granting too extensive fiefs to any one man. 
Instead of four earldoms he created nearly forty — an earl to 
a shire — and where he would show especial honor he took 
care that the lands of any one man should be scattered 
throughout England. Warned likewise by the continual 
wars of his own barons in Normandy, he exacted from all 
freemen, at a meeting at Salisbury (1086), the oath of alle- 
giance to himself as sovereign, thus making it treason for any 
to obey his lord contrary to the king. William thus became 
the real head of the English people, not simply the feudal 
sovereign of a few great barons — " tenants-in-chief." He 
further laid his hand upon the acts of the people by defining 
the sheriff's duties, and making him the ofiicer who attended 
to the king's fees and revenues in the courts. While he 
gave to the barons jurisdiction over the people of their 
manors, it was provided that appeal should run from the 

The Norman Conquerors. So 

baron to the hundred court and to the king. The old village 
courts were left intact, with the added provision of trial by- 
battle for Norman offenders. In place of the Saxon assembly 
of wise men William gathered about him a Great Council of 
his feudal barons, who superseded the English thanes. In 
this also sat the high officials of the Church, and a com- 
mittee of this body, called the curia regis (court or senate 
of the king), acted as a high court of appeals. The Anglo- 
Norman system, therefore, was feudal in its tenure of land, 
but English in its recognition of local self-government. 
Through it all stretched the strong arm of the king, ex- 
acting taxes from noble and commoner alike — all classes 
alike doing him homage. 

Socially the conquest transformed England. At the head 
of society stood the king and his Norman barons — proud of 
their possessions on both sides of the Channel, despising as 
barbarous the common Englishmen and their Anglo-Saxon 
tongue. French was the spoken language of the conquerors, 
though the lawyers and priests wrote a corrupt form of 
Latin. The English thanes disappeared after the early re- 
bellions, being slain or deprived of their lands, and so pressed 
down into a lower social grade. The middle-class English- 
men, dwellers in towns and coming into frequent contact 
with the foreigners, soon met them on equal terms in trade 
and society. The lowest class, serfs and slaves, suffered noth- 
ing by the change of masters, and clung persistently to the 
language and manners of the Anglo-Saxons. 

The Norman vigor breathed the breath of life into one En- 
glish institution. William had been consecrated by the pope 
as the reformer of the English Church, and, once master of 
England, he placed his charge in the able hands of Lanfranc, 
a Norman abbot, reputed to be the most learned man in 
Europe. Upon him William conferred the archbishopric of 
Canterbury, to which he subordinated the see of York. 
The able Gregory VII (Hildebrand), the reigning pontiff 

86 An Outline History of England. 

at Rome, was determined to extend the feudal system over 
Europe by inducing all kings to do him homage for their 
kingdoms, and own him for their temporal as well as spirit- 
ual master. This William swore he would not do. Peter- 
pence he would pay, but homage for England's crown he 
owed to no man, nor to any would he give it. He willingly 
forbade the priests to marry, and allowed Lanfranc to en- 
graft the strict rules of the continental monasteries upon the 
lax religious establishments of England. Bishops' courts 
were set up in each shire to decide offenses against morals 
or religion. But he ordered that without his royal leave 
no pope should be acknowledged in England, no papal bull 
be read, no bishop appeal to Rome, and no royal tenant be 
excommunicated. Thus William thwarted Hildebrand's 
scheme of including England in his universal empire, and 
thus the trenches were dug for the later foundations of an 
English national Church free from papal domination. 

Not all of these changes took place in William's reign, but 
the beginnings of most of them are found there, though 
their course of development runs through more than a 
century. In his own life-time the king found much to oc- 
cupy his mind on both sides of the Channel. The closing 
decade of his life hedged him in with dangers. The barons 
of England were galled by the weight of his yoke. In Nor- 
mandy they had been almost independent of their duke, but 
the modified feudalism of England subordinated them di- 
rectly to King William's hand. Appealing to the English- 
men against the king's oppression, Roger, son of William 
Fitz-Osbern, and other Norman-English earls revolted, but 
the royal forces put them down without difficulty (1075-1076). 
The next outbreak was in Normandy. William had prom- 
ised that his eldest son, Robert, should have the duchy for 
his own in case the English expedition were successful. But 
King William would not fulfill the promises of William, the 
duke. " I shall not strip till I go to bed," was his answer to 

The Norman Conquerors. 87 

his son's reminder. There were always enough discontented 
barons to follow such a leader as Robert to rebellion, and 
the war which son declared upon father was prolonged 
through three years (1077-1080), when a reconcilation took 
place, Robert being appeased by being named heir of his 
father's Norman dominions. The king's worst foes were those 
of his own household, the sons of his old friends, and his own 
half-brothers. One of the latter, Odo of Bayeux — that Nor- 
man abbey whose pictured " tapestry " still shows the features 
of the Conqueror and his knights — had been intrusted with un- 
usual power. He was bishop and earl, but he was ambitious 
to be pope, and would have backed his claims with an En- 
glish army had not the king unhesitatingly seized him, in 
spite of " his sanctity " as a bishop, and cast him into a 
dungeon. Denmark, which from this time sinks below the 
horizon of our history, gathered an armament for the in- 
vasion of England (1085), but it came to nothing, bribes, 
gales, and the fame of William's power uniting to undo it. 

It was at about this period (1086) that the Domesday 
Booh was compiled, and a great assembly on Salisbury 
Plain ordered every free man to swear direct and immediate 
allegiance to the king as his own sovereign. The object of 
the inquiry, which Domesday Book records, was threefold: 
" (1) To give a basis for taxation; (2) to serve as an authority 
by which all disputed land-titles might be settled; and (3) to 
be a census and muster-roll of the nation." At the royal 
command census-takers went to the head men in every 
shire, borough, parish, and manor, and asked these questions: 
" What is the name of your township ? Who was lord 
thereof, bishop, or abbot in the reign of Good King Edward ? 
How many thanes, how many freemen, and how many serfs 
are there ? How many acres and what were they worth in 
the Confessor's days ? What property has each freeman ? " 
etc. The answers were collected by the royal clerks, and 
written down in the book called Domesday, which still 

88 An Outline History of England. 

exists, giving us an invaluable statement of the condition of 
the kingdom of England in the year of our Lord 1086. This 
was the closing event in England of William's reign. The 
next year saw his miserable death in his fatherland. At war 
with his feudal lord, the French king, he took and burned 
the town of Mantes. A fire-brand from a blazing building 
caused William's horse to swerve, throwing his corpulent 
rider heavily upon the pommel of his saddle. The internal 
injury soon threatened death. At Rouen, the capital of his 
viking ancestor Hollo, the Conqueror breathed his last. 
Many prayers and much confession did his thick lips mur- 
mur. Eldest son Robert was to have the Norman inherit- 
ance ; England he had wrongfully conquered, and he could 
not bequeath it, he said, but he hoped God would permit his 
second son, William, to rule the island realm ; for Henry, 
the scholarly son, there was a certain treasure of five thousand 
silver pounds; the remainder of his goods the priests and 
monks should have for the poor and the Church. So, deploring 
his wicked deeds, and boasting of his better acts, his spirit left 
him. His sons hasted hither and yon to secure their inherit- 
ance, and the monarch's remains were thrust into a humble 
grave in the Norman church of Caen. 

William II., called Ruf us (" the red "), lost no time in 
reaching England. Lanfranc, the archbishop, the most in- 
fluential man of the kingdom, pronounced in his favor, and 
the assembly of nobles finally elected him king. There were 
dissenting voices, however. The barons holding estates from 
Duke Robert and King William were displeased to serve 
two masters. In Normandy they were almost independent 
of the chivalrous Robert ; in England, they were mastered 
by the fierce and tyrannical "red king." For Ruf us had 
much of the Conqueror's ability. He was bold in design, 
prompt to act, and a stranger to fear. But he lacked his 
father's self-control, and for the great man's purity of life he ex- 
changed an extravagance and profligacy heretofore unknown 

The Norman Conquerors. 89 

in England. His uncle Odo, released from custody at Will- 
iam's death, conspired with the barons to place Robert in 
the red king's seat. This threw William upon the old En- 
glish element for support, and well did they give it. With 
an English army he quelled the earlier outbreak, and a later 
plot, which sought to place his cousin Stephen on the 
throne. Three parties we find in the England of those days 
— the king, a foreigner ; his barons, rich and powerful, but 
rebellious against the overshadowing authority of their 
sovereign; and the mass of the common people. From the 
interaction of these forces sprang English liberty. A king 
hard-pressed by his barons would concede liberties to his 
people in return for their assistance, and the barons, tyran- 
nized by the king, would unite with the people to force the 
king to terms. By such indirect means the problem of 
English freedom came to solution. 

Among the sins which haunted the visions of the expiring 
Conqueror were the extortions and avarice of his closing years. 
In this form of misrule his son outstripped him far. The in- 
herited treasure the king's wild way of life soon dissipated, 
and his ministers were ordered to swell the revenue. They 
had recourse to a new form of tyranny. The English Church 
owned a large share — some say one fifth — of all the landed 
property in England. Bishops and abbots were feudal 
princes like the secular barons, and did military service for 
their lands. As they were unmarried monks their estates 
were not hereditary, and vacancies caused by death or re- 
moval were filled by the king. William's chief adviser at 
this time was the bishop of Durham, one Ranulf, called 
Flambard ("the fire-brand"), a wily but ignorant Norman 
priest, who had worked himself high in the Church and in 
the king's favor, although he was unscrupulous, and cared 
not a whit for the religion of which he was a minister. Fol- 
lowing his advice, the king allowed vacant abbacies and 
bishoprics to go unfilled for years together, their revenues 

90 An Outline Histoby of England. 

meanwhile being collected for the royal use. In this way 
the highest offices in the Church lay vacant, and the organi- 
zation ran a ruinous course. Even the see of Canterbury 
had no head for four years after Lanfranc's decease. But 
an illness, which dragged William to death's door in 1093, 
seemed to his superstitious mind a judgment for his wicked- 
ness, and he compelled Anselm, abbot of Bee, in Normandy, 
to become archbishop of Canterbury. In his own way this 
Anselm was a worthy successor of his friend Lanfranc. 
But their ways were diverse. Both were high-minded men, 
profoundly learned, and devoted to the Christian Church ; 
but the latter was a man of the world as well as of the 
cloister, and could lead and control by his will the rough, 
unlearned Norman nobles as well as the gentle scholars who 
listened to his gracious Avords. Anselm's world was one of 
books and meditation, and lay far from that of the head- 
strong William, whose recovered strength was put to its first 
use in a close-locked struggle with the quiet but unflinch- 
ing monk. The question at issue was the supremacy of king 
or pope, and Anselm placed the pope's authority above the 
monarch's. After four years of obstinate debate the arch- 
bishop withdrew to Rome, and William greedily resumed 
the rich revenues of Canterbury. Neither side gained much 
real satisfaction from this trial of strength, but the noble 
example of a single freeman resisting the encroachments 
of a king was not lost upon the nation, which had some 
questions of the same kind accumulating for settlement at 
no distant day. 

During the quarrel with Anselm concerning the right of 
the pope alone to consecrate an archbishop the king's 
hands had not been idle. Malcolm, king of the lowland 
Scots, was the center of the old English spirit. His subjects 
were mostly of English blood, his wife was Margaret, a prin- 
cess of Cerdic's house, and his territories adjoining the hold- 
ings of the north country nobles suffered from inroads of the 

The Norman Conquerors. 91 

robber barons, and from the establishment of the earldom of 
Cumberland with the strong fortress of Carlisle to overlook 
the border. Malcolm's invasion of England failed, however, 
and was followed by a civil war, which brought Edgar, Mar- 
garet's son, to the Scottish throne (1097). 

Into Normandy Rufus had marched as early as 1091, and 
agreed with his brother Robert that on the death of either 
the dominions of both should be united under the survivor. 
But this treaty was never fulfilled. In 1096 Duke Robert, 
his viking blood inflamed with love of adventure, and his 
religious enthusiasm stirred by the news that the Mohammed- 
ans had captured Jerusalem, joined the counts and barons 
of France and Italy who made the First Crusade. To equip 
his quota for the expedition he borrowed £6,666 of his 
brother William's ill-gotten gain, pledging his duchy of 
Normandy in payment of the loan. While the duke was in 
Palestine the king made friends of the Norman nobles, and 
ruled Normandy so well that he quite supplanted Robert in 
the affections of his subjects. 

At home the king's acts of oppression multiplied. His 
history is a record of vice and gross licentiousness. " Never 
day dawned," says one gloomy historian, "but he rose a worse 
man than he had lain down ; never sun set but he lay down 
a worse man than he had risen." Yet William the Red was 
no savage. The castles and churches that he built are noble 
structures, as he may testify who is familiar with the ancient 
portions of the Tower of London and Westminster Hall. 

The Conqueror did heartily love the tall deer, said a writer 
who knew him. The chase was his chief sport, and in Hamp- 
shire he cleared the tenants from a vast range of farm-lands 
and woodlands to make the deer park, which still retains 
its first name, "the New Forest." The evicted English 
cursed the king for his cruelty in taking their lands, as well 
as for the cruel forest laws, by which he kept the game for 
his private pleasure, and they declared that the New Forest 

92 An Outline History of England. 

would be fatal to his line. Indeed, his son Richard died 
there, and another Richard, son of crusading Robert. But 
William Rufus feared nothing. 

He was a mighty hunter, and often rode with his bowmen 
after the deer-hounds. But one day, when he had ridden 
afield flushed with wine, the forest curse fell upon him. 
His huntsmen found him dead under a tree with an arrow in 
his breast. No one knows whose bowstring drove the arrow 
to its mark. Dying unshriven, he was buried without Chris- 
tian services at Winchester, the old West Saxon capital, and 
even after his dishonored body rested in the earth the tower 
of the abbey church above it fell in ruins, betokening, so 
wagged the English tongues, God's righteous wrath. 

Prince Henry himself was on that merry hunting party 
after the deer-hounds, and when they told him of his brother's 
death he spurred his horse to Winchester, seized the royal 
treasure, and demanded the crown. By the old. agreement 
Robert was the rightful successor, but Robert had not yet 
returned from the Holy Land. Henry's promptness gained 
the day, and in the words of his proclamation, " by God's 
mercy and the common counsel of the barons of the whole 
realm of England," he was crowned king. William's rule 
had been so hateful and his own title was so doubtful that 
the new king made a high bid for popularity. A paper, 
or " charter," was granted by the monarch to the nation. 
He pacified the barons by releasing them from many of the 
feudal assessments on their manors ; better laws — those of 
Edward the Confessor — were provided to the common peo- 
ple, and the Church was promised immunity from the unjust 
depredations of the preceding reign. As an earnest of good 
intentions, the king recalled Anselm from Rome, and, him- 
self a native of England, took to wife the Saxon Edith, 
henceforth called Matilda, the daughter of the king of Scots 
and great-grandchild of Edmund Ironside. His fondness for 
the islanders was such that the Normans gave the royal pair 

The Norman Conquerors. 93 

the Saxon nickname " Goodrich and Godiva." Henry I.'s 
surname, Beauclerc (" the Scholar "), was not won by any mar- 
velous achievements in learning, but by the contrast between 
his tastes and those of his father, the iron-willed Conqueror, 
and his brothers, the dashing Robert, and William, the red 
king. Until his coronation, Henry had lived a life of pleas- 
ure on his estates in Normandy; but throughout his reign he 
exhibited the force and wisdom of his race. Order was his 
first law, and he cared less for fresh conquests than he did 
for the submission of his father's subjects to his own undis- 
puted will. 

In 1101 Duke Robert invaded the island, claiming his in- 
heritance, and many barons did him homage and led their 
men to his camp, but Henry, supported as William had been 
by an English army, and wielding a powerful weapon in 
Anselm's threat of excommunication against the rebels, bought 
peace. Robert gave up England, and kept Normandy, re- 
ceiving a yearly cash payment from the king. The peace was 
brief. Henry's vengeance pursued the rebel barons — chief 
among them Robert of Belesme, Earl of Shrewsbury — till 
they sought refuge in Normandy, there to plot his destruc- 
tion. Even into his brother's dominions he followed them 
twice, defeating the Normans in 1106 at Tinchebrai, and capt- 
uring their duke. From this time until his death King- 
Henry was master of all the Conqueror's dominions. Robert 
died a prisoner at Cardiff, and the efforts of the French king 
to re-instate his son William in Normandy were baffled. 

If the union of England and Normandy was the event of 
Henry's reign, the quarrel with Anselm and the quest for an 
heir were its absorbing political questions. The ecclesiastical 
struggle was not unlike that of Ruf us's reign. Both pope and 
king claimed the right of " investiture " (the ceremony of pre- 
senting to the newly elected abbot or bishop the staff and ring 
of their sacred office). Should the pope gain this right he 
would be enabled to annul the king's appointments. Should 

94 An Outline History of England. 

the king retain the right he would be the real head of the 
Catholic Church in the island. In 1100 Anselm went into 
exile rather than yield, but in 1106 Henry recalled him and 
found means to compromise the matter, each side retaining a 
check on the action of the other. 

Henry's hopes for a successor were bound up in the person 
of his beloved boy William, " the Atheling," as the English 
called this son of a Saxon princess, and from the day when 
the White Ship bearing the prince went down (1120) in the 
Channel the monarch never smiled. No woman had yet 
ruled in England, yet the king compelled his barons twice in 
his life-time to swear allegiance to his daughter Matilda, the 
widowed empress of Germany. To save her Norman domin- 
ions from the neighboring counts of Anjou, he wedded her 
again (1 128) to the count's son, Geoffrey the Handsome, a gay 
Frenchman, whose habit of decking his cap with a sprig of 
common broom (planta genista) gave the name " Plantagenet " 
to a line of kings. The fruit of the union was a son, and 
before his death (1135) the king had the satisfaction of see- 
ing his nobles repeat their oath of fealty to Matilda and the 
baby Henry in her arms. 

The miseries of the next generation caused the people to 
look back with regret to the "good old times " when Henry 
I. was king. Yet he had not been a model ruler. Above all 
he was a despot. The reforms which he had promised and 
the smaller number which he had executed were made in the in- 
terest of better order and increased revenue for his own com- 
fort and enrichment. He seems to have been entirely reck- 
less of the lives and fortunes of his subjects. Yet it so hap- 
pened that his selfish policy produced internal peace and really 
improved the system of justice. The next reign was anarchy, 
but the little Plantagenet, whose birth we have just recorded, 
was destined finally to come to the throne, and in along and use- 
ful reign to develop the crude forms of his grandfather's time 
into the well-regulated government of Henry II. the statesman. 

Rise of the Barons. 95 


RISE OP THE BARONS. 1 135 A. D.-1216 A. D. 


In the story of the twenty years that followed the death of 
Henry I. it is easy to find justification for the iron rule of the 
Norman kings. The moment the scepter fell from Henry's 
grasp hopeless anarchy seized upon the realm. 

*Among the Norman barons who swore fealty to " the 
empress " and the little Plantagenet prince, was Matilda's 
cousin, Stephen of Blois. He was the Conqueror's grandson, a 
handsome, hearty fellow ready with sword or song. He was 
a favorite with his companions, and the common people ad- 
mired him for a liberal and chivalrous knight. Matilda and 
her proud Angevin husband were especially disliked in En- 
gland when Stephen offered himself without delay as a candi- 


(Showing descent of Matilda and Stephen.) 


" the Conqueror," 

reigned 1066-1087. 


Duke Robert, 




d. 1134. 

" RUFUS," 

r. 1100-1135. 

m. Stephen, 

r. 108M100. 


Count of 


Blois and Chartres. 

"the Empress," 


m. 2. Geoffrey, 


" Plantagenet." 

Count of Blois, 

Count of Anjou. 

King of England, 

r. 1135-1154. 


r. 1154-1189. 

King of England, 

m. Eleanor of Aquitaine. 

I I I 

Henry, RICHARD I., Geoffrev, JOHN, 

d. 1183. r. 1189-1199. d. 1186. r. 1199-1216. 

90 An Outline History op England. 

date for the crown. His chief support seems to have come 
from the city of London, but he was crowned at Westmin- 
ster, and having secured the royal hoard, hired an army to de- 
fend his claims. Following Henry's brilliant example, he 
dazzled the nation with empty promises of reform. But 
good fellowship, knightly prowess, and fair promises brought 
no happiness to the English. The barons of the realm cared 
little for the rights of either claimant to the throne. What 
they were quick to recognize was that the accession of a wom- 
an or an easy-going courtier left them unbridled. The ad- 
ministration of the law grew lax. Bad barons built strong 
castles on their lands, whence they might sally to rob the 
traveler, or wage war upon the neighboring earl or abbot; 
even the good nobles — if such there were — must needs dwell 
in fortified houses to save themselves from the outlaws and 

Foreign invasion and civil war were added to the terror. 
David, King of Scots, espoused his niece Matilda's cause, 
and hacked and burned his way into Yorkshire, until checked 
at Cowton Moor, August 22, 1138, in the battle of the 
Standard, in which archbishops, barons, and people united. 
The discomfiture of the Scots was complete, the English con- 
quering under a standard which upheld a sacred wafer in a sil- 
ver box. With the next year came Matilda herself and the 
outbreak of civil war. Robert, Earl of Gloucester, one of the 
crudest men of these cruel times, was her chief partisan. 
Neighbors took sides and fought each other. The war was 
made an excuse for pillage, and whoever won the common peo- 
ple suffered. Their law-courts were closed, their property 
seized, their lives unsafe. The Church did nothing to help 
them, and, hopeless in their misery, they said, " Christ and his 
saints are asleep." The misfortune of the war was universal, 
and its favor rested now with Stephen, now with Matilda. 
The king was captured (1141), but was released the same 
year and besieged the empress in Oxford Castle, whence she 





Rise of the 13 aeons. 07 

escaped by stealth in December, 1142. The Church, Arch- 
bishop Theobald at its head, finally delivered England. Its 
interference, in 1153, when young Henry Plantagenet had 
landed in England to enforce his demands for his mother's 
rights and his own, secured the treaty of Wallingford. 
Stephen was left to rule in England, pledging that Henry 
should reign after his death. That event befell in 1154, and 
tlenry II., the first Plantagenet king, was crowned king of 
England. Henry was already feudal lord of half of France. 
As the descendant of the dukes, he held Normandy and Brit- 
tany; from Geoffrey, his father, he inherited the counties of 
Anjou and Maine ; Gascony, Poitou, and Guyenne were the 
dowry of Eleanor, his wife. For these fiefs he did homage 
to the French king, but of England he was absolute lord. 

A thorough business man was this first of the Plantagenets. 
Though h^had bo^h Cerdic's blood and William's in his veins, 
he was neither Norman nor Saxon, and in his reign the 
marked distinction between the two races disappeared. 
French — and rather bad French at that — was the language 
of court and town. But French and English burghers and 
courtiers met on equal footing. The king chose his attend- 
ants and the officers of his government irrespective of race, 
and much work he found for them to do. For himself, he 
was never idle. " The hardest worker in the realm," men 
called him, as he turned from treasury accounts to diplomacy, 
from diplomacy to war, from war to statesmanship. 

There was need for such a hard-headed, practical man. 
Order must be brought out of the anarchy of Stephen's reign. 
He found the system of Henry I. clogged. The barons had 
stripped the monarch of most of the power which the Nor- 
man kings had reserved to the crown. To reduce them to 
their subordinate condition, the king ordered them to pull 
down the castles which they had built since Beauclerc's 
time. Then he took from the barons the right to try law- 
cases, which they had seized when the local and hundred 

98 An Outline History of England. 

courts were closed by civil disorders and neither the king 
nor his traveling deputies heard appeals. Not satisfied with 
restoring the government, he sought to conform all the busi- 
ness of the state to one system of which he should be the 
mainspring and center-point. Thus his reign marks a most 
important period in the history of English institutions. 

Among the clerks of the train of Archbishop Theobald — 
the peace-maker — the young king found one Thomas Becket, 
or a Becket, the son of a rich Londoner of Norman blood. 
The archbishop loved and trusted his clerk, and the king 
discovered in him the stuff for a firm friendship. He ad- 
vanced Thomas to the chancellorship, the highest civil office, 
and the two young men together worked upon Henry's plans 
of reform, and on occasions the chancellor (enormously en- 
riched by the king) fought beside his master in battle. In 
1162 the death of the old archbishop left the see of Canter- 
bury vacant, and the king secured the election of Thomas a 
Becket to its honors. 

Henry proposed to introduce a serious change in the 
ecclesiastical system, and with his friend at the head of 
the Church he hoped to avoid such strife as had vexed Henry 
I. and Rufus in their controversies with Anselm. This 
change was no less than the subjection of the ecclesiastical 
courts to the jurisdiction of the king. Since the Conqueror 
two systems of law and two judicial bodies had existed side by 
side in England; the king's courts — from merest town-moot 
to the shire-court and the curia regis — and the bishop's court, 
which not only tried men accused of offenses against the 
church or canon law, but which had jurisdiction over every 
person who had taken the tonsure. The penalties in the 
bishop's courts were comparatively slight, and many a thief 
escaped hanging by claiming " benefit of clergy " (pleading 
some connection with the Church), and bringing his case be- 
fore the bishop. The king wished to restrict the ecclesias- 
tical courts to the trial of causes in which the Church was 

IlisE of the Barons. 99 

especially concerned. At a great assembly of barons, abbots, 
and bishops, held at Clarendon, in 1164, the famous Consti- 
tutions of Clarendon were framed to cover this reform. They 
re-asserted the " customs " of the Conqueror, declaring the 
king's supremacy in the English Church, and they further- 
more established the king's right to decide in which court 
suits should be brought; to be represented by an officer at all 
ecclesiastical proceedings; and to hear and decide appeals 
from the bishop's decision. The man whom the king had 
made archbishop was more loyal to Church than to king; at 
first he wavered, but soon shaping his course he denounced 
the Constitution and fled from the kingdom to escape the 
tumultuous anger of the monarch. After six years of exile 
(1164-1170) the pope's threats forced the king to recall the 
primate. The two men acted a hollow reconciliation. There 
was nothing in it. Henry could find no patience for the 
rebel priest, and four knights who heard his ravings attacked 
the archbishop in his cathedral of Canterbury, and slew him 
on the altar-steps four days after Christmas, in the year of 
grace 1170. In later days pilgrims came in crowds to the 
shrine of St. Thomas, that " holy blissful martyr for to seek." 
The popular horror of the murder caused the king to aban- 
don some of the Clarendon enactments, although throughout 
his reign he held the power of the Church well in check. 

If the independence of the Church was to be feared, the 
arrogance of the barons was still more menacing. In the 
beginning the foresight of William I. had cut into their feu- 
dal state by requiring all freemen to swear allegiance directly 
to the king, instead of the Norman usage of swearing to a 
lord who, in turn, vowed fidelity to a duke, the latter doing 
homage to the king. Henry II. applied William's principle to 
military service. All tenants owed this, but the king allowed 
them exemption by paying him a tax called scutage. With 
the proceeds of these scutages he employed mercenary troops 
for his wars abroad. Thus the barons lost the private armies 

100 An Outline History of England. 

of personal followers which had every- where in feudal coun- 
tries contributed to disorder. By the " Assize of Arms " 
(1181) all freemen were obliged to muster armed at summons 
from the king. Of more importance to England than the 
reforms in Church and army were those which were gradu- 
ally engrafted upon the law. These are embodied in several 
" assizes." That of Clarendon revived and extended the 
"frank-pledge," a police system by which small clubs of 
freemen were formed for mutual security. It provided, more- 
over, a grand jury which indicted reputed criminals and pre- 
sented them for trial by ordeal, by which " judgment of 
God" the old system of trial by " compurgators " was super- 
seded. In 1216 an order of the Church abolished the ordeal, 
leaving the word to our vocabulary, but replacing the 
judicial test by a petty jury, such as still remains the basis 
of English law. 

The "Assize of Northampton" (1176) gave currency 
and system to Henry I.'s hap-hazard plan of sending justices 
throughout the island to preside at courts in the king's name. 
Henry II. divided the kingdom into six such judicial circuits, 
and regularly heard appeals from their courts to himself in 
the council of his barons, the highest of all judicial bodies. 
From the committees of this cpuncil, appointed for especial 
branches of the law, arose the modern courts of King's Bench, 
Exchequer, and Common Pleas. 

Henry's reign was not entirely given up to administrative 
reform. The king was as active among his generals as he 
was among his clerks and justices. He was engaged in 
three futile wars with the Welsh, who had been only partial- 
ly subdued. After Becket's murder he went to Ireland, 
which now makes its first important entry upon the stage of 
English history. The island had been the scene of the 
utmost disorder for several centuries. Once the abode of 
learning and piety, it had fallen into a pit of ignorance and 
superstition. One Dermod, a fugitive king of Leinster, 

Rise of the Barons. 101 

came to Henry and swore fealty to him in return for English 
aid in regaining his throne. About 1169 Richard of Clare, 
an English noble of ruined fortune, led an irregular expedi- 
tion to Ireland and conquered the south-eastern districts. To 
him went Henry himself, in 1171, perhaps to avoid the papal 
legates who came to curse him for the archbishop's murder. 
The next year he returned in time to meet the new legates, who 
brought absolution. Ireland, though now nominally an 
English fief, remained unconquered, save where Richard of 
Clare, called " Strongbow," lorded it over the wretched Irish. 

Henry managed the affairs of his kingdom better than 
those of his own household. His wife Eleanor, a woman of 
distinguishes 1 ability, hated him for his infidelity. His sons, 
Henry, Geoffrey, Richard, and John, were the heaviness of 
their father. The principle of heredity was not yet admit- 
ted, and the king was anxious about the succession. To 
secure the crown to his eldest son, Prince Henry, he had his 
barons swear allegiance to him, and in 1170 had him formally 
crowned. From this time " the Young King " was a source of 
continual strife. He claimed a share in the government, and 
demanded that a part of the inheritance, either Normandy or 
England, should be given to him forthwith. The king had 
already made his will, but refused to be his own executor. 
At his death Henry was to have Normandy and England 
and An j ou ; Richard's share was his mother's dowry, Aqui- 
taine and Poitou, and Geoffrey should be duke of Brittany. 

John, the youngest son, was omitted in the distribution, 
and men — perhaps his brothers began it — dubbed him John 
Lackland. Little John was the king's favorite, and he 
tried to save a portion for him by persuading the elder 
brothers to grant him certain castles and manors of their 
own. The surly Henry rudely objected, and leagued with 
King William of Scotland and a number of French and En- 
glish barons to wrest the sovereignty from his father. But 
that. father, once aroused, was irresistible; he scattered the 

162 An Outline History of England. 

French armies like a whirlwind, capturing the rebels. Mean- 
while his lieutenants in England had found once more that 
the king's strength lay in the confidence of the English com- 
mons. The nobles were in revolt, but the royal army de- 
feated the Earls (1173) and captured William the Lion, King 
of the Scots. This sharp work was done while Henry was 
absent. The capture of William was announced almost im- 
mediately after the king had landed in Kent and made a 
humble pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas at Canter- 
bury. Little blood was shed in punishment for this rebellion; 
but more castles had to come down and more baronial power 
had to be centered in the king. The king of Scots was not 
liberated until (1175) he swore on bended knee to hold his 
realm as a fief of the English crown. 

For the rest of bis life Henry lived chiefly on the Conti- 
nent. His possessions there were richer and more populous 
than in England ; and there, too, he might watch the course 
of his rival, the king of France, and keep an eye on his un- 
filial sons. England was ruled meanwhile by the king's jus- 
ticiar, Ranulf Glanville, one of the lawyers whose influence 
is apparent in the wise constitutional changes of the reign. 

In vain the king besought his sons to join hands for their 
common safety. The Young King Henry, who was eventu- 
ally to reign, urged the brothers to swear fealty to him 
now. Richard reluctantly obeyed, but a bloody quarrel 
rather than an alliance followed the act. The old king and 
Richard took arms to oppose the attacks of Geoffrey and the 
Young King. The latter's death (1183) ended his career of 
mischief. Three years later Geoffrey died also — his widow, 
Constance, soon after bearing him a son, Arthur of Brittany, 
to face a short and sorrowful existence. Richard and John 
Lackland survived. The experiment with one " young king " 
convinced Henry of the imprudence of crowning Richard. 
But this prince made close alliance with Philip, King of 
France, and together they attacked the king, now broken in 

Rise of the Barons. 103 

spirit by disappointment and the rebellion of his heartless 
sons. In July, 1188, he left England for the last time. A 
truce was made, but it endured for a few months only. At 
its close Philip invaded Anjou (1189), and Henry, without 
resistance, gave up Le Mans, the town and castle of his birth. 
The city of Tours fell on the third day of July, and the 
sick and despairing monarch surrendered to Philip and 
acknowledged Richard's claim to the crown of England. 
The list of conspirators was placed in his hands, that he 
might forgive them. At its head was John, the child of 
his heart, and when he saw that name he turned his face to 
the wall, lamenting : " No more, no more ! Let all things 
go their way ! " Two days later he died at Chinon. The 
garrulous courtiers said that when Prince Richard passed the 
royal bier blood flowed from the nostrils of the dead king, 
showing that Richard's conduct had broken the heart 

Richard Coeur de Lion (Lion-heart) was born in En- 
gland, but until the Young King's death had little hope of 
reigning there. His father early gave him his mother's prov- 
inces, Aquitaine and Poitou, and there the prince practiced 
the arts of chivalry, with occasionally a fiercer tilt at the king 
of Spain, or some fellow-vassal of France. Personal bravery 
was his commanding virtue. He was a burly, red-faced man, 
fond of rich armor and brilliant trappings. England never 
knew him well, and some doubt his ability to speak or write a 
single sentence in English ; but the fame of his exploits filled 
all Christendom, and long after his death Richard of En- 
gland was a name to terrify the Turks. The romance of his 
life has caught the fancy of the world, and the extravagance 
and licentiousness which marred his habits are forgotten. 

Queen Eleanor held England for her son until he came 
from France. No united power disputed his title to the 
throne of his father, and the realm was in such excellent 
order that he was able to fling himself immediately into 

104 An Outline History of England. 

preparations for the enterprise which lay so near his heart. 
For Richard was on fire with crusading fervor. The em- 
peror of Germany and the king of Sicily were already off for 
the East, and both Richard and Philip of France had taken the 
cross and were eager to join them in Palestine. 

Money was the king's pressing need, and he obtained it 
by selling privileges. Scotland bought back the independ- 
ence that its king had forfeited to Henry II., bishops paid 
roundly for their titles to the lands of the bishoprics, earls 
for their earldoms, barons for their manors. The offices of 
justice and sheriff were made to yield their quota, also, to 
the enormous crusading fund. Before quitting the island he 
sought to insure peace and good government. To John, his 
brother, he gave six English counties, so that he lacked land 
no more, but he gave him no voice in the government. The 
administration was left to the chancellor, William Long- 
champ, and to the bishop of Durham, whom he made justi- 
ciar, and who, as legate, wielded the anthority of the pope. 
Fearing trouble, he bound John and his half-brother Geof- 
frey (not to be confounded with that brother Geoffrey, the 
father of little Arthur, the pitiful prince) to remain outside 
the kingdom for three years. 

Philip and Richard set out for the Holy Land in 1 1 90. They 
were delayed all winter in Italy, where their jealousies led to 
the brink of open war. In June, 1191, they reached Acre, where 
a Christian army had held a force of Saracens beleaguered 
for several years. The English king performed astounding 
feats of valor in the remaining days of the siege, which soon 
ended in the surrender of the city. Philip got his fill of cru- 
sading, and sailed for France. Richard pushed on toward 
Jerusalem, then in possession of Saladin, the most renowned 
and chivalrous of Mohammedan sultans. Discord between 
the English and French thwarted concerted action, and 
Richard in disgust signed a truce for three years, three 
months, and three days with the infidels, and turned his face 

Rise of the Barons. 105 

toward Europe, where he had reason to believe his presence 
needful. John's term of absence was expiring, and Philip, 
now his enemy, was back in France. In his haste to reach 
England Richard was shipwrecked in the Adriatic and capt- 
ured by the duke of Austria, who placed him in the custody 
of Philip's friend, the German emperor, Henry VI. There 
he remained in an unknown prison for thirteen months, and 
a pretty story tells how Blondel, his minstrel, wandered 
through Europe, singing the king's favorite air under many 
a castle window, until Richard's own voice took up the strain 
and finished it. 

Richard was indeed needed at home. William Longchamp 
had quarreled with the bishop of Durham and assumed the full 
control of the state. Ability and loyalty William doubtless 
had, but his pride and arrogance set barons and Englishmen 
alike against him. The better to manage the former, he took 
from them their castles, even attacking the strongholds of 
Prince John, who returned to England at the expiration of 
his three-years' bond. Geoffrey, the half-brother, also came 
to England and leagued with John. The barons and bishops 
succeeded in driving Longchamp into exile, John being recog- 
nized as Richard's regent, and Walter of Coutances proving 
his own credentials as royal justiciar and papal legate in place 
of the banished prelate. John and Philip now intrigued to 
prevent the return of Richard, and great was their joy at 
the news of his capture in February, 1193. 

The English people were exceedingly proud of their ab- 
sent king, foreigner though he was, and they left no stone 
unturned in their efforts for his release. The emperor placed 
an enormous ransom upon him, and Philip and John put 
every obstacle in the way of raising it. But Queen Eleanor, 
the new justiciar, and Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, put themselves at the head of the enthusiastic nation, 
and the sum was made up. The rich gave liberally, and the 
common people gave one fourth of their movable goods to 

106 An Outline History of England. 

swell the fund. In a twelvemonth the money was paid over. 
The emperor kept his word, and Richard was set free. King 
Philip's messenger posted to John with the words, "Beware! 
the devil is loose." King Richard arrived in England in 
March, 1194, just in time to witness John's surrender to 
Archbishop Hubert and to pardon his brother and Geoffrey. 

He spent but sixty days in the island in this the last visit 
of his life, and he applied the time to the restoration of order 
and the levying of a tax to defray the expense of the war 
which he was about to carry on with France. On the 12th 
of May he sailed for the Continent, leaving Hubert Walter 
to govern the realm and raise funds to meet the heavy 
draughts of the campaign. The archbishop was a well- 
trained politician, a prudent ruler, and a statesman. But not 
even he could continue uninterruptedly to exact money from 
the English to support an unpopular foreign war. In 1198 a 
great council of notables — the usual bishops and barons — met 
his request for an extraordinary contribution with flat refusal, 
and he was glad to lay down his dignities in favor of a 
sterner man, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter. 

The money wrenched from Englishmen went partly for 
war, partly for fortresses, and partly to buy alliances with 
the enemies of France. Had Richard been able to unite his 
French dominions with his English heritage for a common 
and hearty attack upon Philip of France he might have won, 
but his continental duchies and counties cared far less for 
him than did his English subjects, who in turn felt no interest 
in the war. To protect Rouen, his Norman capital, he built 
that splendid Chateau Gaillard (the " saucy castle "), which 
Philip swore to take " were the walls iron," and Cceur de 
Lion vowed to defend " were its bulwarks built of butter." 
To crush the French monarch he and his stanch friend Long- 
champ intrigued with the Powers of western Europe. When 
the plot was nearly ready for execution death foiled it. In a 
private feud with the count of Limoges, over a treasure-trove 

Rise of the Barons. 107 

claimed by the count's master, the king received his mortal 
hurt from an arrow shot from the castle wall (119W. So 
died Richard I. of England, forgiving, in his kingly fashion, 
the bowman whose shaft had struck him down. 

In the list of English kings since the Conquest there are many 
repetitions: four Williams, eight Henrys, six Edwards, four 
Georges, and two each named James and Charles, but John 
has had no namesake; no English queen has dared to christen 
a son by that hated name. Of John Lackland, the prince, 
the reader knows something — how his rebellion broke the 
heart of a kind father, and his treachery stole the kingdom 
from a brother in distress. The history of his reign has 
blacker stains, for this talented and fascinating monarch was 
foul in his life, and false to all men and women with whom 
he had to do. The period of his sovereignty, however, is 
. worthy of the closest study on three points — the permanent 
separation of England and Normandy, the quarrel between 
king and pope, and the signing of the Great Charter. 

King Richard died childless. By the Norman rules of in- 
heritance his next of kin was not his younger brother John, 
but Prince Arthur of Brittany, son of his elder brother 
Geoffrey, whose death has already been noted. Yet John 
claimed the crown of England, as the ablest and most worthy 
male of the house of Plantagenet, and Hubert Walter 
managed his election at London and coronation. From his 
father, Geoffrey, young Arthur inherited Anjou and other 
provinces which Henry II. had held as a vassal of the king 
of France, and the prince after receiving their allegiance lived 
at King Philip's court. John claimed these provinces for 
himself, and, with the advice and able assistance of his queen- 
mother Eleanor, used force to compel their submission; Philip 
left Arthur to shift for himself, and the boy, now fifteen years 
of age, fell into John's hands. A mystery shrouds Arthur's 
death, but his uncle's cruelty makes plausible the story that 
he was murdered at Rouen, either by John or by his royal 

108 An Outline History of England. 

command. Philip, at least, credited the report and ordered 
John, as his vassal, to appear before the French barons and 
clear himself of the accusation. The sentence of the court 
was forfeiture. John was declared to have forfeited all his 
French fiefs. Philip's army executed the decree forthwith. 
The " saucy castle " was humbled. Normandy passively ac- 
cepted the French rule, and the entire English realm on the 
Continent, save a small district in the south of France, was 
seized by the French. John returned to England, now his 
sole possession. Soon after his arrival Archbishop Hubert, 
his faithful counselor, died (1205). 

The death of the archbishop of Canterbury inaugurated 
King John's disastrous conflict with the Church. There were 
several candidates for the primacy. The Canterbury monks 
had one, John named another, and the bishops of the province 
nominated a third. The parties took their dispute to 
Rome, where Innocent III., one of the greatest of the popes, 
threw out all three, and appointed an English scholar 
and cardinal, Stephen Langton (1207). The enraged king 
swore that the pope's man should never set foot in the king- 
dom. For six years he kept his defiant word in the face of 
the most awful power in Christendom. Innocent launched 
his three thunderbolts successively against him. First an 
interdict was placed upon the kingdom. All public religious 
services were forbidden. Churches were closed and all 
Church ceremonies save baptism ceased. The king retaliated 
by plundering the prelates who obeyed the pope, and by 
persecuting the Italian priests. Innocent then declared the 
king excommunicate, and his people were ordered to have 
no dealings with him. Still John was obdurate. Innocent's 
final act was the Bull of Deposition. The king was now a 
spiritual outlaw, and his vassals were released from their 
allegiance. To Philip of France the pope intrusted the 
execution of the decree, and that monarch eagerly prepared 
to invade England. John would have resisted even then had 

Rise of the Barons. 109 

he not discovered that his English barons were deserting 
him. By a sudden change of front he yielded to Rome. On 
May 15, 1213, King John disgracefully surrendered his king- 
dom to the pope's commissioner, Pandulf, receiving it again as 
tributary vassal of Innocent III. Before the year's end 
he had thwarted Philip's plan of invasion, but his attempts to 
regain any portion of his father's lands in France were ended 
by the defeat of his allies at Bouvines (1214). King John 
had only two years to live, but one of them — 1215 — marks 
an era in the history of the world's struggle for freedom, for 
in that year the great charter of English liberty was drawn 
up and signed. 

At his coronation, and twice or thrice thereafter when 
hard pressed, the king had sworn to rule justly, after the 
laws of the best of his predecessors, but his promises were 
"false as dicers' oaths." They were made to be broken, and 
the oppressed barons secretly concerted measures for holding 
him to their performance. Archbishop Langton, of honored 
memory, added the influence of the Church to the strength 
of the nobility, and the common people, finding their natural 
leaders united and their sovereign faithless, turned against 
the king. Langton found among the rolls a copy of the 
charter of rights which Henry I. had granted. This for- 
gotten document he read to the barons assembled at St. 
Paul's Church in London, in October, 1213, proposing it 
as a basis for a new charter which should limit the power of 
the king and protect the rights of the people. 

After his discomfiture in France John turned and 
twisted to free himself from the coil of difficulties gathering 
about him. To dissolve the union of the nobility, to win over 
the clergy, to secure the interference of the pope, taxed every 
device of the king's remarkably fertile brain ; but Stephen 
and the men who believed the righteousness of their cause 
and knew John's worthlessness would not be put off or gain- 
said. They gathered an army and marched into London 

110 An Outline History of England. 

(May, 1215). With not a single man of weight to stand by 
him, the king yielded at last. On the island of Runnymede, 
in Thames, between Staines and Windsor, he met the barons 
and signed with them the treaty which Ave reverence as 
Magna Charta, the Great Charter of England. This memo- 
rable event took place on the 15th of June, in the year 1215. 

The Great Charter was a plain and clear statement of the 
several rights and privileges which former kings had granted 
to the Church, nobility, towns, and common people of En- 
gland. It contained little or nothing that was new, but it 
expressed in definite shape the accepted principles of good 
government and provided means for applying them. It de- 
clared, "No freeman shall be seized, or imprisoned, or dis- 
possessed, or outlawed, or in any way brought to ruin, save 
by the legal judgment of his equals or by the law of the 
land." "To no man will we sell, or deny or delay, right 
or justice." No tax could be levied save by the authority 
of the great council — this accords with that maxim of lib- 
erty, " No taxation without representation." All privileges 
granted by the king to his tenants-in-chief were to be granted 
in like manner by these barons to their under- tenantry. 
Trade was relieved from excessive duties, the rights which 
the city and town corporations had acquired were to be re- 
spected. These and many other provisions make up Magna 
Charta. The novel feature of the paj)er was the appointment 
of a committee of twenty-five barons to insure its execu- 

But John did not dream of executing it. He was the 
pope's man now, and the weapons which had been fleshed 
upon him were at his disposal against his enemies. At his 
suit the pope annulled the charter and absolved the king 
from his share in its enactment. The barons rebelled, and 
the pope struck at them blow after blow. Excommunica- 
tion was followed by interdict, and the king hired an army 
of continental ruffians to chastise them until they cried for 

Rise of the Barons. Ill 

mercy. Pandulf declared Langton suspended from his epis- 
copal authority. The barons raised such forces as they could 
muster, and begged Louis, son of Philip of France, to rid 
their island of its monstrous monarch. Louis landed in May, 
1216, with an army. John was in the north fighting the king 
of Scots. After a victory he marched southward to meet 
the new foe, but in crossing the sands of the Wash in Lin- 
colnshire a hia;h tide swallowed his treasure and left him 
weakened in the presence of his enemies. Death overtook 
him before the dauphin's army. Fever — some whisper 
poison — ended his wretched life at Newark, October 19, 

112 An Outline History of England. 




William the Conqueror and his son, the Red King, were 
pure despots; they believed that absolute power in the hands 
of a monarch was the best form of government. To estab- 
lish this system they broke through the feudal rules of 
France and made all England, noble and commoner, swear 
allegiance to the sovereign. The king of France ruled his 
barons — when he could ; they in turn governed the people. 
These two kingdoms developed very differently. Centrali- 
zation in England ended in a constitution, by which the 
royal power was hemmed in on every side, and the common 
people acquired the practical direction of the government. 
In France a succession of powerful kings beat down the 
power of the barons and consolidated authority around the 
throne, until in the eighteenth century — when England was 
ruled by an elective Parliament — Louis XIV. could truth- 
fully say of France, " The State ? I am the State." The 
preceding chapter outlined the progress of liberty in En- 
gland. The administration and judicial system which Henry 
I. had devised for the sake of order, and which Henry II. 
had broadened and strengthened for similar reasons, had 
proved so acceptable that its neglect by John threw the 
kingdom into revolt — a rebellion so serious that at the death 
of the king half his barons were in arms against him and 
had leagued with Louis, son of Philip of France, to drag 
him from his throne. Led by Stephen Langton, the barons 
and bishops had forced the king to sign the Great Charter, 

The Plantagenet Kings. 113 

but before his death, in 1216, he had renounced his assent to 
it and had secured a decree from the pope annulling the 
document altogether. 

Affairs were in this woeful case when the death of John 
left his nine-year-old son, Henry of Winchester, to face the 
exasperated nobles and the ambitious dauphin. Probably 
had the king lived he would have lost the crown, but his 
death removed the most serious grievance of the rebels. 
Patriotism detached some from the French prince; the pros- 
pect of more independence during the boy king's minority 
doubtless caused more to fall away. The barons were fight- 
ing to compel the king to observe his pledge of good govern- 
ment; opportunity now offered for the patriots and nobles to 
rally round an infant, and in his name to set up the system 
which his false father had spurned. 

A small but able band of John's friends, chief among them 
William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke; Peter des Roches, 
Bishop of Winchester, and the papal legate, espoused Henry's 
cause and had the little fellow crowned king at Gloucester. 
In his name they re-issued Magna Charta, omitting tempora- 
rily several sections. William Marshall, a tried and faithful 
friend of John, assumed the regency as " governor of the 
king and kingdom." In 1217 he beat the French and En- 
glish at Lincoln, and before the year's end he had cleared 
Louis out of the island. Henry was accepted as king by the 
remnant of the rebels, and in his name the regent again re- 
issued the charter, from which the pope had withdrawn his 
condemnation. In 1219 Earl William died, having saved the 
country from Fiance and civil war. Peter des Roches, Pan- 
clulf the legate, and the justiciar, Hubert de Burgh, together 
conducted the regency, and Henry was crowned again at 
Westminster by Archbishop Langton, whose share in the 
events at Runnymede was now forgiven and even applauded. 

Hubert was the great man of the triumvirate who exercised 
the king's power. Bishop Peter represented one dangerous 

114 An Outline History of England. 

influence and Pandulf another. During John's reign the 
many royal castles and some of the chief places in Church 
and State had been given to Frenchmen like Peter des 
Roches. Against these Hubert proceeded with severity, and 
succeeded in reclaiming the property and authority of the 
king and driving out the foreigners. Moreover, the legate 
Pandulf represented the pope of Rome, to whom John had 
granted the kingdom. At the return of Langton the legate 
was superseded, and England's Church was left under the 
control of the archbishop of Canterbury. These were genu- 
ine triumphs for Hubert. In 1225, when the justiciar desired a 
grant of money to meet the expenses of a new war with 
Louis, now king of France, King Henry again, " by his 
spontaneous will," solemnly promised to respect the charter 
which his father had signed perforcedly. 

With how little sincerity Henry re-issued the charter in 
1225 maybe learned from his course after 1227, when he be- 
came of age and began to exhibit himself in all his unfitness 
for kingship. He ruled in his own name forty-five years, 
and lost no opportunity to rid himself of all constitutional 
trammels, and to show his disregard of Englishmen and his 
faithfulness to the pope. Hubert de Burgh was j usticiar until 
1232, shielding the people from oppression and incurring 
the hatred of the king. Henry, guided by Peter des Roches, 
filled the high places in the administration with foreigners — 
Frenchmen — but this could no longer be done with impunity. 
The days were past when England was the unresisting prey of 
foreigners, and the descendants of the Conqueror's Normans 
looked -upon Henry's French officers as intruders. Bishop 
Peter secured the deposition of Hubert de Burgh, and when 
Richard Marshall, son of the regent William, succeeded him 
as the head of the English party the wily Peter had him ac- 
cused of treason and destroyed. Though its leaders were 
cut down, the rank and file of the opposition stood firm. In 
J 235 Peter des Roches had to yield and leave the court, 

The Plantagenet Kings. 115 

By the dismissal of both Hubert and Peter the king was 
gainer. He filled their places with insignificant men — mere 
clerks — who transacted the duties of chancellor, justiciar, 
and treasurer, but who had no power and exerted no influ- 
ence. The authority of these great offices the king reserved 
to himself. With stubborn disregard of the demands of his 
subjects, he laid upon them repeated taxes to support his 
petty wars with Scotland, Wales, and France, and to lavish 
upon the gorgeous tourneys and feasts with which he cele- 
brated the marriages of his family. To these expenses were 
added the great sums which he pledged to the pope. 

Before each fresh imposition the bishops and barons debated 
it in a great council — now first called Parliament. So 
far as they dared they resisted. The king generally gained 
their consent by promising to redress their wrongs. They 
we,re long in learning how vain were his pledges. They 
lacked a leader bold enough and patriotic enough to compel 
the king to keep his word at all hazards. Edmund of Abing- 
don and Robert of Lincoln among the bishops, Earl Ranulf 
of Chester and John's second son Richard, Duke of Cornwall 
and " King of the Romans," among the barons, were men of 
genuine nobility and pure patriotism, but they were not 
fitted to fight to the death for a principle as did Simon of 
Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who at last found the will and 
courage to grapple with the king. 

There are two Simons of Montfort in history. The elder 
Simon belongs to France, for whose king he led a cruel cru- 
sade against the Albigenses, poor peasants condemned by the 
pope for heresy. The youngest of his four sons became 
the English hero. He was a Frenchman who had become 
earl of English Chester, and had married Henry's sister 
Eleanor. Strangely enough, we find Earl Simon ranging with 
the English barons in their resistance to his brother-in-law 
King Henry. We find him in the front rank, too, his name 
not a w r hit less respected than that of the king's own brother. 

116 An Outline History of England. 

Richard of Cornwall (1244). Whatever were Henry's feel- 
ings toward his sister's husband, he sent Earl Simon to gov- 
ern the Gascons (1248), who still remained his subjects in 
France ; but this period was one of constant bickerings. 
Gascon y, filled with the hot-heads of the south, complained 
of de Montfort's vigorous measures, while Simon and the 
king disputed over revenues and debts. In 1253 the earl 
returned to become the champion of the English. 

The royal tyranny grew worse yearly. In 1257 the king 
informed the Parliament that his second son, Edmund, was 
to be king of Sicily, and that he would consequently want a 
large sum of money. The barons cut the appropriation down 
to one third of the sum and granted it. In 1258 the king 
repeated his request. He had pledged his realm to the pope 
for a certain sum; if the barons would grant it he would 
govern henceforth in accordance with their wishes. The 
" Provisions of Oxford," drawn up in June of that year, ex- 
pressed the desires of the barons. They went beyond 
Magna Charta. The foreigners were to be sent out of the 
kingdom; the great offices, whose functions the king had 
monopolized, were to be re-established; the financial and ju- 
dicial arrangements of Henry II. were to be restored. 
Twenty- four men, twelve by royal appointment, twelve 
chosen by the earls and barons, were to carry out the reforms. 
A select council of fifteen was to meet thrice a year to 
advise the king. Two other commissions represented the 
barons and the Church. To all these acts Henry plighted 
his sacred word. 

England had now limited its monarchy and undertaken 
to establish a constitutional government. But the king, on 
whom much depended, was as false as the traitor John, and 
the barons and earls were jealous and discordant. The Pro- 
visions had been in force two years, when Henry, seeing the 
disunion of his enemies, renounced his oath and received 
papal absolution. The next year (1262) he turned about 

*The Plantagenet Kings. ilf 

and took the oath a second time. Prince Edward, the 
heir to the throne, was by this time old enough to be con- 
cerned in the welfare of his inheritance, and he feared lest 
Simon de Montfort, the directing spirit of the king's council, 
should usurp the title, as he had bade fair to usurp the powers, 
of the sovereign. In 1263 there was actual civil war, but in 
December the whole matter of dispute was referred to Louis 
IX. (Saint Louis), King of France. His award, the " Mise 
of Amiens," given in June, 1264, was for Henry. The Ox- 
ford agreement was annulled, the king's supremacy restored, 
and both parties exhorted to peace and good-will. 

Simon de Montfort refused to accept the decision, and con- 
tinued the war against King Henry, his son Edward, and 
his brother Richard. After two months of profitless castle- 
taking Earl Simon defeated the king's army at Lewes, and 
captured its three royal leaders (1264). A new Parliament, 
in which four knights from each shire sat with the barons and 
bishops, formed a new constitution, limiting the royal pre- 
rogatives still more than the Provisions. Three counsel- 
ors, of whom Earl Simon was one, were the actual rulers. 
By their advice the body known in history as " Simon de Mont- 
fort's Parliament " was summoned to meet in January, 1265. 
It is noteworthy, because here, for the first time in England, 
the towns were represented by members who sat along- side 
the earls, barons, and bishops who represented the feudal 
organization of the realm. It marked a significant step in 
the direction of government by the people. 

Earl Simon's triumph vanished in a moment. A quarrel 
with his colleague, the earl of Gloucester, re-opened the civil 
war. Prince Edward escaped and joined Simon's enemies. 
On August 4, 1265, a battle was fought at Evesham. Simon 
fell, and his party lingered, only to be beaten piecemeal. 
In 1267 the war was over. The king, though victorious, 
dared not revive the tyrannies of his early reign, but he sum- 
moned no commons to his Parliament and allowed no com- 

118 An Outline History of England. 

mittee of barons to rule his actions. Prince Edward went to 
the Holy Land on a crusade (1270), and in his absence (1272) 
his father died, after the longest and one of the most wretched 
of English reigns. 

Henry III.'s reign covers more than half of the thirteenth 
century, one of the most brilliant epochs in the history of 
the world. A revival of religion in the Christian Church 
sent forth two orders of preaching friars. The Dominicans, 
or Black Friars, and the Franciscans, or Grey Friars, were 
men who took the vow of poverty and consecrated them- 
selves to preaching the Gospel to the common people. They 
had at first no churches, and dwelt in no monasteries, but 
preached in the streets, and at the road-side crosses, living 
on the scanty alms of their hearers. These begging preach- 
ers did much to purify the life of the towns-people, and the 
more learned of their order were among the noted lecturers 
in the new universities. For it was during Henry's reign that 
Oxford began to be known in England, Scotland, Wales, and 
western Europe as a center of the world's learning. A few 
students, assembled in the previous century to listen to lect- 
ures on divinity and Roman law, formed the nucleus of this 
university, whither flocked young men from every nation, and 
where Roger Bacon (1214-1292), "the first name in the roll 
of modern science," taught and wrote. 

After two centuries of French Williams and Henrys the 
Saxon name of Edward re-appears in the list of English 
kings, and — without regard to the West Saxon Edwards, the 
" Martyr " and the " Confessor " — this son of Henry III. is 
known as Edward the First, or, in the jovial language of the 
camps through which he strode, "Edward Longshanks." 
Seldom was prince better prepared for his duties. Through- 
out his boyhood he witnessed the efforts of the barons to 
compel his father to respect the Charter; in his younger 
manhood he learned patriotism and military science from his 
faithful and brilliant uncle, Simon de Montfort, whose party 

The Plantagenet Kings. il£ 

he favored until he had reason to fear their usurpation of the 
throne. Commanding with the king at Lewes, he had driven 
one division of the enemy so far in his impetuous charge that 
the other divisions had time to defeat his father before his 
return. His maneuvers and bravery ended the war at Eves- 
ham, and his wisdom then took him on a crusade (the 
seventh) to Palestine, to allow the hot tempers of the king- 
dom time to cool before his return. At the news of his 
father's death (1272) Edward, then thirty-three years of 
age, vigorous in body and mind, returned to England. His 
career in the East had yielded no permanent success. In 
Italy he paid his respects to the pope, and in France he 
knelt in homage to King Philip III., as overlord of Gascony. 
It was 1274 when he set foot in England, and the crown of 
his Plantagenet fathers was placed upon his head. 

JMward I. reigned gloriously for thirty-five years, extend- 
ing the boundaries of England, exerting her influence over 
Wales and Scotland, and giving to the nation itself a pride 
and patriotism it never had known before. 

The Welsh war was already forward when Edward returned 
from Palestine. Wales was peopled by Celts of the Cymric 
branch, the remnant of the race which Caesar had found in 
southern Britain, and which the Anglo-Saxon invasion had 
driven into the west country. Strathclyde, Cornwall, and 
the lesser Celtic states had come completely under the 
earlier Saxon and the later Norman rule, but no English king 
had yet been king of Wales. The people were Christians 
of the old British type; they spoke the old Celtic language, 
and the songs of their bards kindled and fed a fiercer flame 
of patriotism than any that burned in an English breast. 
They were threatening neighbors for the West-of-England 
shires, which the Norman kings had sought to protect by 
granting to their border earls extraordinary powers. Thus 
the families of Mortimer, Bohun, Marshall, and Clare rose to 
dangerous eminence, and sometimes actually leagued with 

i20 An Outline Hjstory of England. 

the Welsh princes to make war upon each other, or upon the 
king. During Henry's troublous years the Welshmen had 
steered so cleverly that at its close their Prince Llewelyn 
refused to pay homage to King Edward. In 12 77 he was 
forced to admit the king's feudal supremacy, and peace was 
made, the prince marrying Earl Simon's daughter. But the 
treaty was soon broken. In 1282 Llewelyn and his brother 
David broke faith and invaded the western marches. Ed- 
ward made careful preparations for a campaign against them. 
The half-measures of the past fifty years had failed, and he 
now determined to make thorough work of the conquest. 
His great army crossed the border, defeated the prince and 
his brother, and received the submission of the Celtic chief- 
tains. It was long believed that by his orders the bards 
who had inspired the Welsh to resistance were ruthlessly 
massacred, but the story is not worthy of credit. In 1284 
the " Statute of Wales " proclaimed the annexation of the 
principality to England, and from that time the two countries 
began to grow together, though the union was not complete 
until a much later day. 

Soon after the pacification of the west confusion arose in 
the north. The death of the Scottish sovereign left that 
throne vacant, with thirteen claimants wrangling for the 
seat. Over Scotland the English kings since William I. had 
claimed authority, but had no real power. The disputed 
title was, however, now left to Edward to decide. John Bal- 
liol and Robert Bruce were the leading candidates before the 
Scottish council which King Edward held in Norliam castle in 
1291, and to the former, with the general assent of the Scots, 
the king awarded the crown. Balliol accepted the kingdom 
as a fief of England, and did homage for it in true feudal 
fashion. Yet both the Scots and their king fretted under this 
English lordship. They resisted Edward's decree that appeals 
from Scottish law courts should be settled in his own council, 
and they refused to obey his summons to fight in the 

The Plantagenet Kings. 121 

English wars. In fact, Balliol made a secret treaty with 
Philip IV. of France. 

It was to invade France that Edward had ordered the 
Scottish barons to join his forces. The sailors of the English 
Cinque Ports (the channel towns Dover, Sandwich, Hastings, 
Hythe, and Romney) had quarreled with the Norman sea- 
men in the channel, and King Philip, as Edward's feudal lord, 
called him to account for his vassals' misdemeanors. Edward 
went not, but sent his brother, offending thus His Majesty of 
France, who at once laid hands upon Guienne, one of the 
fragments of English territory on the Continent. There 
would have been immediate war had not the internal af- 
fairs of England prevented. The defection of the Scots was 
the king's first care. He had learned of their alliance with 
France — the beginning of a connection which lasted until the 
eighteenth century — and demanded possession of their bor- 
der castles as a pledge of good faith. Balliol returned de- 
fiance. Edward's army sacked the border city of Berwick, 
captured Edinburgh, Stirling, and Perth, and received the 
surrender of the Scots' king. John Warrenne, Earl of Sur- 
rey, was left to pacify and organize the English rule in Scot- 
land. The conqueror took back with him to Westminster a 
sacred stone supposed to be the hard pillow on which the 
patriarch Jacob dreamed of the heaven-reaching ladder. 
Upon this stone in the abbey of Scone each sovereign of 
Scotland had been crowned. Edward had it placed in 
the English coronation chair which is still in use. When 
James VI. of Scotland became James I. of England, the Scots 
saw in the event a new proof of the sanctity of this rock. 

Earl Warrenne was rudely stopped in his work of organi- 
zation by William. Wallace, an outlawed Scottish knight. 
The baronage and the clergy obeyed Edward's lieutenant, 
who accordingly thought he had the country well in hand. 
But Wallace called upon the common people to regain the 
freedom which the aristocracy had surrendered. Such a tide 

122 An Outline Histotcy of England. 

of national feeling had not been seen before in Scotland, and 
its first waves were resistless. In the battle of Stirling (Sep- 
tember, 1297) the earl of Surrey was put to rout, and he stayed 
not until he was on the safe south side of the border. Wallace 
was now hailed as "guardian of the realm," but Edward has- 
tened against him with an overwhelming force. Two abler 
generals had not met before on British soil than Edward and 
the outlaw Wallace. The superior strength of the English 
archers carried the day at Falkirk, in July, 1298. But not 
until 1304 did Edward consider the conquest of Scotland 
completed. Wallace was executed as a traitor, and the gov- 
ernment of his country was intrusted to a council of Scottish 
nobles. In the year before Edward's death (1307) the spirit 
of Scottish nationality flamed forth again, and a war was be- 
gun which won the independence of that kingdom. 

The stirring events of the west and north have thus far 
obscured the political and legal activities of Edward's reign 
— though the latter are even more important. In previous 
reigns we have noticed the germs of parliamentary govern- 
ment and of judicial institutions; in this we trace the devel- 
opment of both these principles. The king's justices were now 
divided, for judicial purposes, into three courts: Exchequer, 
for trying revenue cases; King's Bench, where criminal suits 
are heard; and Common Pleas, the court of private litiga- 
tion. A separate staff of judges was assigned to each divis- 
ion. As a source of revenue the Parliament of 1275 granted 
to the king an export duty upon wool — the first customs duty 
imposed on English goods. The Welsh and Scottish cam- 
paigns exhausted the royal coffers and frequent Parliaments 
were called to devise new means of raising money. At first 
the innovations of Simon de Montfort were disregarded, and 
only the barons and clergy were represented in these gather- 
ings. But the government was hard pressed for money which 
the towns-people and county-farmers could supply if they 
would, and so the reform came about. In 1 295 King Edward 

The Plantagexet Kings. 123 

summoned the first perfect Parliament — " the clergy repre- 
sented by their bishops, deans, etc. ; the barons summoned 
severally in person by the king's special writ; and the com- 
mons summoned by writs addressed to the sheriffs, directing 
them to send up two elected knights from each shire, two 
elected citizens from each city, and two elected burghers from 
each borough." The right of the barons to be summoned to 
Parliament became hereditary, and these members, with the 
bishops, made up the House of Lords. The other members, 
knights and commons, formed the House of Commons, 
though in Edward's time, and long after, this division of Par- 
liament into two houses was unknown. 

It is not to be supposed that Edward granted these free 
institutions to his people from any philanthropic motives- 
Order and system were, in his mind, essential to good govern- 
ment, but it was no less essential that the king should be the 
source of all order and the center-point of the system. His 
obstinate persistence in subjecting the Church to his taxation 
involved him in a quarrel with Winchelsey, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, which was prolonged through several years, and 
which ended in 1297 by a compromise. In that year the king 
needed money and men for the invasion of Flanders. The bar- 
ons, discontented with the amount of power the king had cen- 
tered in himself, refused to follow him, and the clergy, backed 
by the pope and led by the archbishop, refused to be taxed. 
As the price of the submission of both orders, Winchelsey ob- 
tained a confirmation of the charters, and the promulgation of 
new decrees establishing the right of the people to determine 
all questions of taxation. This confirmation of the charters 
was repeated again and again, and twice a year the charters 
were to be read aloud in the cathedral churches, to remind 
the people of their political rights and obligations. 

The closing months of Edward's life are characteristic of 
the whole. He was now nearly seventy years of age, and his 
magnificent physique had been shattered by the mental and 

124 An Outline History of England. 

physical strain of a busy life in camp and council hall. The 
government which he had inaugurated in Scotland had gone 
wrong. Robert Bruce, a grandson of the Bruce who had 
claimed the crown in 1290, headed a conspiracy to emancipate 
the nation. By combining strength with stealth he overcame 
the English interest, stabbing with his own hand John 
Comyn, the late regent, and being crowned King of Scots at 
Scone, in March, 1306. Around him gathered the elements 
which had made Wallace's rising momentarily successful; 
but his resources were small, and had Edward been young 
and vigorous the end might have been otherwise. An En- 
glish army beat the Bruce and drove him into seclusion in the 
Highlands ; Edward himself hurried north to assume the 
direction of affairs, but his infirmities bore him down, and 
on July 7, 1307, he succumbed, dying at Burgh-on-Sands, 
within sight of the Scottish border. Eleanor, his first queen, 
whom he loved devotedly, had died seventeen years before, 
her sole surviving son, Edward, being Prince of Wales and 
heir to the crown of England. 

England has not known an abler sovereign than the first 
Edward. His reign was not destitute of great men, but in 
history he towers above his earls and bishops as he over- 
topped them in life. Strong and steadfast in every crisis, 
living his motto, "Keep troth" [Pactum servo), he was a 
genuine national leader, a real king. Men have called him 
cruel, but his " massacre of the Welsh bards " is a falsehood, 
his treatment of Wallace and the Scots was in his eyes just 
judgment upon oath-breakers, and his expulsion of the Jews 
from the kingdom (1290) was in answer to an undoubted 
popular demand. 

Edward II., of Carnarvon, was king of England for twenty 
years (1307-1327). It was a gay and pleasure-loving gentle- 
man of twenty-three who succeeded to the kingship which 
his hard-headed father had given his life to strengthen. The 
defect in the system was immediately apparent. The burden 

The Plantagenet Kings. 125 

of a centralized government, which the elder Edward had 
carried easily upon his sinewy shoulders, sent the son stagger- 
ing to his fall. 

Young Edward's devotion to a Gascon courtier, Piers (or 
Peter) Gaveston, was the first cause of his misfortunes. The 
old king had warned his son that the nobles would be jealous 
of Piers, and before his death he had banished the favorite, 
and pledged the prince not to recall him without the consent 
of Parliament. But his great father's admonition was lost 
upon the flighty young king, who immediately called Gaves- 
ton to England, made him earl of Cornwall, and, to the 
disgust of the English nobility, left this earl of a day regent 
of the kingdom while he went to France to claim the hand 
of Isabella, daughter of Philip the Fair. King and queen 
were crowned together (1308), the sovereign swearing " to 
keep the laws and righteous customs which the community of 
the realm shall have chosen, and to defend them and strengthen 
them to the honor of God, to the utmost of my power." 

The barons' opposition to Gaveston showed itself forth- 
with. The Scottish war was allowed to drop out of sight, 
and the king devoted himself to the protection of his 
unworthy favorite. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster ; Henry de 
Lacy, Earl of Lincoln ; and Guy Beauchamp, Earl of War- 
wick — the proudest barons in England — led the attack. Two 
months after the coronation Piers was in exile, but the shifty 
king had him again at court the following spring. A revo- 
lution followed. The Parliament of 1310 took the govern- 
ment out of Edward's hands and gave it for one year to a 
commission of twenty-one " Ordain ers." The "ordinances" 
proposed by this body in 1311 provided for the banishment 
of the foreign favorites, and the limitation of the king's 
authority by the barons in Parliament. Edward accepted 
these laws, but broke them at the first opportunity. The 
exasperated earls again took the law into their own hands, 
captured Gaveston, and the earls of Warwick and Lancaster 

126 Ax Outline History of England. 

had him beheaded in June, 1312. This left Thomas of 
Lancaster the leading man in the kingdom. The king was 

Edward I. used his last breath in marching into Scotland 
to chastise Robert Bruce. The accession of Edward II. was 
Scotland's opportunity. The English commanders won iso- 
lated successes, but no comprehensive plan of subjugation 
was made or followed. The fugitive Bruce, encouraged, says 
the tale, by the perseverance of a spider, spinning and re- 
spinning its torn web, resumed his efforts. The English 
garrisons, left unsupported, surrendered the Lowland castles, 
until in 1314 Stirling, the only English stronghold left, was 
itself at the point of yielding. Edward tried to relieve the 
post, but his army had no confidence in his military ability, 
and Bruce's Scotchmen beat the king's knights at Bannock- 
burn, June 24, 1314. This signal victory gave Bruce the 
absolute sovereignty of Scotland. The earl of Lancaster was 
now almost supreme in England, but his use of his high 
position made him powerful enemies. The weak king, crav- 
ing support, adopted Hugh le Despenser, father and son, 
granting them such wealth and honors as his restricted 
means allowed. All the old jealousy of Gaveston was 
aroused against the new recipients of royal favor. The 
lords assembled in Parliament sentenced the two Despensers 
to forfeiture and exile (1322). The king nursed his chagrin 
for a few months and then broke forth. An insult offered to 
his queen by Lady Badlesmere furnished a pretext for rais- 
ing an army; and once at the head of troops Edward discov- 
ered some of his father's energy. He caught at the chance 
to rid himself of Lancaster's control. The royal army took 
the earl in battle at Boroughbridge, and he was condemned 
and executed as a traitor, though the English people gener- 
ally honored him as a saint. The victorious king clung to 
the Despensers, and annulled the ordinances which had been 
forced on him in 1311. He even fought a campaign against 

The Plaxtagexet Kings. 127 

the Bruce which ended disastrously, and in 1323 a truce for 
thirteen years brought peace to England and Scotland. 

Lancaster's death left the national party without a leader 
in England, and for a few months the Despensers amassed 
wealth unchallenged. The thunder-cloud which was to blast 
them gathered on the eastern shore of the Channel. The ac- 
cession of a new king in France, Charles IV., made it neces- 
sary for Edward to pay feudal homage for his small conti- 
nental holdings. But his mentors dared not trust him out of 
their hands, nor to accompany him, for England would rise 
in their absence, and there was more than one whetted dag- 
ger for them in the French court, swarming with English ex- 
iles. In 1325 the queen, herself a French princess, went over 
and persuaded her husband to send their son and heir, Prince 
Edward, to her. Mother and son straightway turned against 
the king. Roger Mortimer, an English lord who had escaped 
Lancaster's doom, directed operations, and hired troops for 
the invasion of England. They landed in September, 132G, 
the queen proclaiming herself the liberator of the realm 
from the king's false counselors. The Londoners joined her, 
and the king, after a weak resistance, abandoned the struggle. 
The Despensers, elder and younger, died on the gallows. A 
Parliament at Westminster (January, 132V) declared the 
king faithless and unworthy to rule, and the broken-spirited 
monarch confessed that it was so. He resigned the crown in 
favor of his thirteen-year-old son, Edward of Windsor, whose 
mother, guided by Roger Mortimer, reigned until the death 
of the king. The ruined monarch was confined in Berkeley 
castle, where he was murdered September 21, 1327. 

128 An Outline History of England. 


ENGLAND AND FRANCE. 1327 A. D. -1422 A. D. 


The reign of Edward II. had come to a wretched end 
(1327) — the Scots plundering the northern marches, the 
French trespassing upon the English continental province, 
the old king a prisoner, the new king a lad, and the regency 
controlled by Queen Isabella and the outlawed Roger Morti- 
mer. The regents had all power, but small wisdom or ability. 
They made peace with Scotland (1328), signing away at 
Northampton whatever feudal rights Edward III. might have 
been entitled to in that kingdom. Scotland was free, and 
Robert Bruce was its king. 

This disgraceful treaty of Northampton aroused the En- 
glish nobles against Mortimer, but he was too strongly in- 
trenched in the government to be dislodged easily. His 
destruction came when least expected. Edward was eighteen 
years of age in 1330 — old enough to feel keenly the shame 
of the situation. By a secret passage he made entrance, with 
an armed band of his close friends, into Mortimer's presence 
in Nottingham castle, and seized the offender, who, once be- 
reft of authority, was quickly sentenced by the lords in Par- 
liament, and hurried to a traitor's death at Tyburn. The 
queen-mother passed the remainder of her life in retirement. 

Edward III. assumed personal direction of the govern- 
ment. The condition of Scotland was his earliest care. The 
death of Robert Bruce left the throne to a child, and Edward 
Balliol, gathering a band of English adventurers, had himself 
crowned at Scone. His renewal of the allegiance to the king 

England and France. 129 

of England lost him his crown; the Scots would not have 
him to reign over them. Edward of England fought man- 
fully to reinstate him, but succeeded only in winning the Low- 
lands and the border city of Berwick. When the outbreak 
of war between France and England called off the English 
forces, David Bruce redoubled his efforts and Scotland was 
soon liberated under his scepter (1342). 

The war between England and France, whose din drowned 
out the petty Scottish campaigns, was the famous Hundred 
Years' War, which lasted, with interruptions, from 1336 to 
the middle of the fifteenth century, from Edward III. to 
Henry VI. It opened with the claim of Edward to the 
crown of France ; at its close Henry was master of the sin- 
gle French town of Calais. The waters of the Channel and 
the fields of France furnished battle-grounds, and England 
was not once invaded by her enemy, though their allies, the 
Scots, did break over the northern border. The struggle ex- 
tended over the reign of five English kings, made famous the 
names of Edward the Black Prince and Joan of Arc, and 
included the bloody battles of Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt. 
This war, continuing through four generations, did much to 
deepen the national enmity between the people of the two 

The first Plantagenet kings held wide domains in France, 
acquired by inheritance from their Norman and Angevin 
ancestors, and by dowry of their French wives. The weak- 
ness of John had let most of these lands slip, and for several 
reigns previous to the accession of Edward III. Aquitaine, 
in southern France, with a narrow coast-strip in the north, 
alone remained. Of these the French kings were covetous. 
They had designs, moreover, upon the Flemish cities Ghent, 
Antwerp, and others, whose manufactures of wool commended 
them to the especial favor of sheep-raising England. With 
these existing grounds of hostility little was needed to bring 
the two nations to actual war. Edward furnished a pre- 

130 An Outline History of England. 

text.* The death of Charles IV. of France gave him some 
reason for asserting his right to the vacant throne, for Isa- 
bella, his mother, was sister of the late king, and there was no 
direct male heir. The lawyers, however, declared that by the 
law of the Salic Franks, who founded French royalty, no 
female might wear or transmit the crown. Edward was accord- 
ingly passed over, and Philip VI. of Valois succeeded peace- 
fully in 1328. Seven or eight years later, when Philip was 
crowding in upon the English holdings, and aiding the Scots 
of David Bruce, Edward re-asserted it and abandoned the 
Scottish war for this greater contest. Such European alli- 
ances as were possible he made, and with such German sol- 
diers as he could buy of their hireling princes he recruited 
his ranks. In the great sea-fight off Sluys, in June, 1340, he 
won the first of his French successes, and indeed the brilliant 
record of the royal navy has few more terrible triumphs. 

The king's son Edward, feared in France and loved in 
England as the Black Prince, was the hero of his father's 
wars. The campaign of 1346 was his first in the field, and 
on August 26 he — a youth of sixteen — commanded the right 
wing of his father's army in the battle of Crecy. Philip, 
with a superior force, made the attack. There was a striking 
difference between the two armies, as there was indeed be- 
tween the two countries. France was wealthy, populous, and 


(French sovereigns in italic.) 

(1.) PHILIP III., 


reigned 1270-1285. 

I I 

(2.) PHILIP IV, Charles, 

the Fair. Count of Valois. 
I 'I 

III | (7.) PHILIP VI. 

(3.) LOUIS X., (5.) PHILIP V., (H.)CHARLES IV., Isabel, of Valois, 

d. 1316. the Tall, the Fair, wife of Edward II. r. 1328-1350. 

(4.) JOHN L, d. 1322. d. 1328. of England. | 

d. 1316. | (8.) JOHN II., 

of England. r. 1350-1364. 

England and France. 131 

in the full flower of feudal splendor, and the men who fought 
under her lily banner were the proud barons and their retain- 
ers and mercenaries. England was poor in purse and popu- 
lation, but comparatively free; her soldiers were the stout 
yeomen of the shires, accustomed to draw their cloth-yard 
arrows to the head, and learning to fight for their country 
rather than for a feudal lord. On this day, for the first time 
in history, they had a battery of field-cannon for use against 
the knights. The battle was a slaughter: the boy Edward 
fought with the skill and bravery of a veteran, 

While his most mighty father on a hill 
Stood smiling, to behold his lion's whelp 
Forage in blood of French nobility.* 

The French lost 1,200 knights and 30,000 footmen, more 
than the whole English army. King Philip fled in dismay, 
and King Edward, embracing the prince, exclaimed, " Fair 
son, my son you are in truth, for loyally have you acquitted 
yourself to-day ! " 

In the autumn an English army at Neville's Cross routed 
the Scottish king, David Bruce, whom his French allies had 
set on to invade England in the absenee of its chief defender. 
In France the English power widened steadily ; after a year 
the beleaguered port of Calais Mas starved into surrender. 
Its stubborn resistance and its villainous reputation as a re- 
sort of Channel pirates exasperated the king. Edward prom- 
ised to spare the people if six leading citizens should give 
themselves up to him. Five patriots followed Eustace St. 
Pierre, who volunteered to be the first of the six, and the 
chroniclers tell touchingly how the king's fierce anger melted 
under the warm tears of his queen, Philippa, who besought 
her lord to show mercy " for the sake of the merciful Lord 
Christ." So the Calais people went scathless, but their town 
did not go free until two centuries later, when its loss 
stamped its name upon the hard heart of Queen Mary. 

* Shakespeare, King Henry V., Act i, Scene ii. 

132 An Outline History of England. 

The intercession of the pope brought about a truce, which 
both countries willingly accepted. But in 1355 the struggle 
was renewed. The Black Prince sallied foith from Aqui- 
taine, pillaging the pleasant country of central France, which 
had never known the sight of war. The amount of the 
plunder was enormous. It sufficed to fit out another army 
in the following year, at whose head the prince ravaged the 
valley of the Loire, and gained the road to Paris. The new 
king, John, called " the Good," rallied 60,000 to block the 
way. Edward, with 8,000 English and Gascons, was en- 
trapped at Poitiers, and offered peace and a restoration of his 
conquests rather than to risk a fight. John was sure of his 
prey and scorned the terms. The battle of Poitiers was fought 
September 19, 1356. By a reckless attack the Frenchmen threw 
away the advantage of superior numbers; and the skillful 
disposition of the English and their fierce charges won the 
day for the Black Prince. King John was taken captive 
and was exhibited to the Londoners in the triumphal pro- 
cession, over which England went wild with enthusiasm in 
the spring of 1357. For two years more France was a prey 
to anarchy and Edward; then the regents consented to the 
treaty of Bretigny, which marked the close of the first stage 
of the long war. King John was to be released on the pay- 
ment of 3,000,000 crowns in gold. King Edward renounced 
his empty claim to the throne of France and the duchy of 
Normandy, but he was confirmed in the possession of Aqui- 
taine, Poitou, Guisnes, and Calais, and it is to be noted that 
he held these lands henceforth independently as king of 
England, not as a vassal of France like his predecessors. 

The peace of Bretigny was unbroken for nine years. The 
Black Prince remained on the Continent as duke of Aqui- 
taine, but his ambitious spirit could not be bridled. Since 
his own province was quiet he sought activity elsewhere. 
The Spanish kingdoms were broiling in civil war. Dom 
Pedro the Cruel, of Castile, found an able ally in the 

England and France. 133 

English hero, who won for him the battle of Navarete (1367), 
and replaced him upon his throne. The expenses of this 
campaign were a burden on Aquitaine, and the emissaries of 
the French passed in and out among the people inciting them 
to rebellion. In 1369 France and England grappled again, 
but young Edward had won his last great battle. Broken 
in health, despairing of his own succession, and fearful lest 
his brothers should bar his son Richard from the throne, his 
old energy was turned into impatience and cruelty. His 
capture of Limoges was disgraced by a bloody massacre, but 
he made no conquests — indeed, he did not hold his own — 
and soon his sickness and the interests of his son Richard 
recalled him to England. His brother, John, Duke of Lan- 
caster, famous from his Flemish birthplace as " John of 
Gaunt " (Ghent), led an English army into France, but the 
French king's Fabian policy exhausted the English treasury 
and prevented a decisive battle. John accomplished noth- 
ing. City after city of Aquitaine admitted French garrisons, 
and by the end of 1371 only two important towns, Bordeaux 
and Bayonne, remained to England of all her wide realm .in 
southern France. Within fifteen years the results of Crecy 
and Poitiers had vanished, and the bloody campaigns of the 
Black Prince had produced nothing but misery and lasting 
hatred between England and France. 

The reign of the third Edward has other claims to atten- 
tion as important as the French wars. Within this period 
of fifty years Parliament acquired the form which it 
still wears. There was a time when its four orders — the 
clergy, barons, knights, and citizens — met separately, each 
considering the matter of especial interest to their order. 
But after the Parliament of 1341 the prelates of the Church 
and the specially summoned barons or " peers " met as one 
body, while the elected members, both the knights of the 
shires and the borough or town representatives, met as 
another. So arose the Houses of Lords and Commons. 

134 An Outline History of England. 

Three times within this reign the kingdom was swept by 
a murderous disease. In 134S, 1361, and 136& the " Black 
Deatli " appeared in the English towns, and from them spread 
through the kingdom. No pestilence of modern times can 
be compared to it for destructiveness. More than one half 
of the three or four million inhabitants of England are known 
to have perished. Such a diminution of the population had 
a deep influence upon society, and particularly upon Cu 
condition of the laboring classes, as the troubles of the next 
reign indicate. 

The plague and the wars with France told terribly upon 
the strength of England. All classes suffered, but the clerg}^ 
least of all. Their lands and houses, constituting a large 
share of the best property in England, were free from 
ordinary taxation, and their prelates and dependents had 
not to offer themselves as targets for French bowmen. The 
jealous baronage, led by John, Duke of Lancaster, attacked 
the privileges of this class. John, a younger brother of the 
Black Prince, Avas ambitious, tyrannous, and cruel. In his 
father's later life he gained control at court and filled the 
high offices with laymen, ousting the bishops and abbots 
whom the king had raised to these positions. The incom- 
petence of the new men and the failure of the French cam- 
paigns brought about an alliance of the clergy under William 
of Wykeham and the commons. The last act of the Black 
Prince was to side with the people against his brother. In 
the Parliament of 1376 the commons had the audacity to pro- 
test against John's extravagance and mismanagement ; for 
the first time in English history two of the royal ministers 
were accused, convicted, and condemned ; the court was 
purged of its unpopular courtiers, and Alice Perrers, the 
favorite of the king, was banished. These and other re- 
forms w r on for this Parliament the designation " the Good." 
No sooner was it dissolved than John of Gaunt resumed 
control, reversed its enactments, restored the favorites, and 

England and France. 135 

made a fresh assault on William of Wykeham and the 
clergy. Prince Edward died June 8, 1376, and Parliament 
acknowledged the succession of his little son, Richard. In 
June of the following year died Edward the Third. 

The intense hatred of Frenchmen which pervaded En- 
gland in this century had one permanent effect. Until now 
it had been doubtful what language would prevail in the 
British Islands. Caesar had found a Celtic dialect there, and 
had introduced the Latin tongue. The Anglo-Saxon migra- 
tion had driven the Celtic people into Wales and Scotland, 
and had established the Anglo-Saxon, or old English, language 
so firmly that the great infusion of Danes among the people of 
the islands left but an inappreciable number of Danish words. 
The Norman Conquest in the eleventh century brought in the 
French language, and made it the common speech of the 
court and the aristocracy throughout the time of the Nor- 
man and Angevin sovereigns, while the Latin, now corrupted 
and fallen from the classical standards, was the language of 
the Church and literature. Beneath this Norman-French 
upper-crust the masses of peasantry and common people 
clung to their English mother-tongue. Its disuse by learned 
men suffered it to pass through many changes, and the Anglo- 
Saxon of King Alfred's time would not be intelligible to the 
Englishman of the time of Edward III. By the close of the 
fourteenth century it had changed in form and substance, and 
its vocabulary had been largely swollen by words from the 
French and Latin. No important books had until now been 
written in this dialect, which was ridiculed by the upper 
classes. But the Hundred Years' War made all things French 
still more obnoxious. English began to displace other 
tongues in the schools ; in 1362 courts of law began to use 
English, "because French had become unknown." William 
Langland, who wrote a homely poem, " The Vision of Piers 
Plowman," wrote in English, that it might be more widely 
read. The poet Gower, and his contemporary, Chaucer, 

136 An Outline History of England. 

who died in 1400, used the common country speech for their 
compositions. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and the prose 
pamphlets and translated Bible of John Wiclif practically 
settled the question that the new English should be spoken 
and written by Englishmen. 

John Wiclif, sometimes called the first Protestant, 
was educated for the Catholic priesthood, attained great 
learning, and became a famous teacher in Oxford Univer- 
sity. His study of the Scriptures convinced him that the 
Romish Church in England was not performing its proper 
work. Its clergy should preach the Gospel and lead Christ- 
like lives ; he found them amassing fortunes, misusing the 
ecclesiastical courts, and seeking temporal rather than 
spiritual influence, To inculcate his own doctrines he sent 
out " poor preachers," clad in russet gowns, to labor among 
the lowly. His active mind did not stop at this reform ; he 
denied the right of the pope to levy taxes upon England. 
The tribute which King John had pledged his kingdom to 
pay was thirty-three years in arrears, and Parliament boldly 
refused to pay it more. Wiclif applauded and defended 
this defiance of Rome. John of Gaunt, in his quarrel with 
William of Wykeham and the clergy, was thus brought for 
a time into sympathy with Wiclif, and protected him 
from the archbishop's condemnation for heresy. Repudia- 
tion of the worldly ambition of the Church led the free- 
thinking priest to an examination of its doctrines, and thence 
to his denial (1381) of the dogma of " Transubstanti.ition." 
To explain his position he wrote a host of tracts, in English, 
copies of which, even before the invention of printing, made 
their way among the people, and helped the " poor preach- 
ers " to found the Christian sect called " Lollards " (meaning 
psalm -singers), the forerunners of the English reformation. 
Wiclif died in retirement as parish priest of Lutterworth, 
his later years being devoted to his grandest work, the 
translation of the Bible into the tongue of the common 

England and France. 137 

people of England. He died on the last day of the year 1384, 
reckoned a great man in his own day, and now esteemed 
anion o- the first men of Christendom. 

Several sons of King Edward III. grew to manhood : (1) 
Edward, the Black Prince, who died just before his father, 
leaving a son, Prince Richard; (2) Lionel, Duke of Clar- 
ence (the poet Chaucer's patron), who died in 1368, leaving 
a daughter, Philippa, the ancestress of the earls of March ; 
(3) John " of Gaunt," Duke of Lancaster, the ancestor of 
the Lancastrian kings ; (4) Edmund of Langley, Duke of 
York, from whose line sprang the Yorkist kings in the next 
century, and (5) the Duke of Gloucester. 

Richard II. ascended the throne at the age of eleven (1377), 
his uncle of Gaunt being in the prime of life. England 
was in miserable condition, resulting from the war-taxation 
and the ravages of the plague. Moreover, the people, of 
whom little has yet been said, were fairly astir. The three 
Edwards had brought the nation to a consciousness of its 
unity and its independence of any foreign power ; the 
development of Parliament had admitted a new class to a 
share in the government, and the spirit of Wiclif and his 
Lollards was invading the stolid country-folk, and teaching 
them to test for themselves their social and political system. 

A change had in due course come over the condition of the 
lower classes. Slavery no longer existed, and serfage and 
villeinage in its various forms had nearly passed away. The 
serf, or villein (who had lived upon his master's land in re- 
turn for certain labor performed), had been released from 
this obligation, and now paid a certain compensation in cash 
or kind for his holding, in place of the old manual labor. The 
Black Death appeared at the time when many villeins were 
winning, and many thought they had already won, their free- 
dom from this degrading service. The great land-owners 
saw their laborers dying off like sheep. There was no one left 
to tend the flocks or reap the grain, which rotted in the 

133 Ax Outline History of England. 

field. To secure herdsmen and harvesters the land-owners 
obtained from king and Parliament, in the years following the 
plague, certain "Statutes of Laborers," requiring all landless 
men and women to work at a fixed low wage for any employer 
who should demand their service; and the laborer was forbid- 
den to leave his parish in search of better employment. 

The proprietors, at their wit's end for labor, re-asserted 
their claims upon those villeins and serfs who had gained at 
least partial freedom. The sons and grandsons of freedmen 
were hauled before the justices, and compelled to serve the 
family to which their ancestors had been bound. Wide- 
spread discontent and frequent local outbreaks mark the 
history of these days. The protest of Wiclif against the 
wealth of the Church was taken up by his disciples and 
forced to its full extent. Socialistic ideas circulated among 
the hard-working peasants, who saw the nobles and bishops 
gorgeously arrayed, while their tenants perished with hun- 
ger. John Ball, " a mad priest," as a courtier called him, 
seemed sane enough to the crowds of Kentishmen who 
listened to his sermons. Equality was his gospel, commu- 
nity of property the burden of his homilies. "When Adam 
delved, and Eve span, who was then the gentleman? " was a 
text with which he roused the jealousy and envy of his 
countrymen against the aristocrats. 

In 1380 Parliament levied a poll-tax on all Englishmen, 
and the next summer the poor farmers and artisans, excited 
by the injustice which they had suffered, broke out in the 
rebellion known as the " peasant revolt." Easily remem- 
bered jingles in the common country-people's English passed 
from mouth to mouth, giving the signals for the rising, and 
it seemed as if the whole nation had risen in one day. Wat 
Tyler and John Hales, with 100,000 Kentish farm-hands at 
their backs, marched into Canterbury and dismantled the 
archbishop's palace, seized London, burning John of Gaunt's 
" Savoy house," and breaking into the Tower, and killing the 

England and France. 139 

archbishop and the poll-tax commissioner. On the north 
bank of the Thames was another host, from Essex, bent on 
the same mischief, killing lawyers and burning deeds, char- 
ters, and law-papers as they advanced. King Richard, a 
courageous lad of fifteen, fronted the Essex men and sent 
them home with promises that serfage should exist no more. 
Two days afterward Richard dealt with Wat Tyler's men at 
Smithfield. The lord mayor stabbed the peasant leader for 
insulting his king, and Richard proclaimed himself captain 
of the rioters. They heard with joy his pledges of redress, 
and then dispersed. Little did the insurrection profit. The 
king and nobles raised armies, and stamped it out without 
mercy; seven thousand of the poor peasantry were put to the 
sword or sent to the gallows before autumn. Parliament at 
its next session, a Parliament wherein sat scarcely a man 
(save the borough members) who was not a landlord, de- 
clared that the king had no power or right to fulfill his 
promises to give away their property. So villeinage and 
serfage remained lawful, but the natural causes which had 
been at work before the pestilence soon revived, and by a 
rapid and peaceful revolution free labor took the place of the 
ancient form. 

Although Richard played such a prominent part in the 
suppression of the peasant-rising, he left the government 
to his uncles, the dukes of Lancaster and Gloucester, for 
eight years afterward. Their rule was inefficient. They 
waged a fruitless war with France and Spain, spending the 
money and strength of the nation and winning nothing. 
The king's party, led by the earl of Suffolk, strove vainly to 
overturn the regency, but Gloucester's " merciless Parlia- 
ment" of 1388 exiled or executed the counselors of the 
young king. The next year the vane of fortune swung 
round, Richnrd secured the reins of power in his own hands, 
and for eight years guided the nation steadily and well, 
making peace with France, establishing the semblance of 

140 An Outline History of England. 

order in Ireland, and real prosperity at home. But this era 
of good government was a preparation for such faithlessness 
as he had exhibited to Wat Tyler's rebels. In 1397, having 
divided his uncles, Lancaster and Gloucester, and gained 
the support of the former, he threw off his disguise, 
punished his enemies, and grasped at absolute power. 
Gloucester died in prison ; of his friends the Arundels, the 
earl was beheaded, and his brother, the archbishop, banished. 
A submissive Parliament, awed by the king, or in his pay, 
consented to these tyrannies, granted him a life revenue, and 
appointed a commission of eighteen men to act in the place 
of a Parliament. Parliament was dissolved, and the king, 
co-operating with this small executive committee, entered 
upon a career of absolutism that soon wrought his ruin. 

Richard ruled henceforth with little respect for the rights of 
nobles, clergy, or commoners. To rid himself of two dangerous 
lords, Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and the ambitious 
Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, he banished them 
from the country (1398). A few months later old John 
of Gaunt died, and his son, the exiled Henry Bolingbroke, 
succeeded to his title, duke of Lancaster, though the king 
kept John's rich estates for his own use. Henry complained 
of this injustice and set about to recover his rights. The 
king, his cousin, was absent in Ireland when Bolingbroke 
landed in Yorkshire (1399) with other exiles, who made com- 
mon cause against the tyrant. The nobles of the north, Percy 
of Northumberland and Neville of Westmoreland, joined 
Henry. His uncle Edmund, Duke of York, regent for Richard, 
turned from the setting to the rising sun. Upon the king's 
return he found himself defenseless in the presence of a great 
army. No one would fight for the tyrant, all men flocked 
to the Lancastrian standard. Henry at first demanded his own 
inheritance and a share in the kingdom; but this did not long 
appease his appetite for power. A Parliament at West- 
minster declared the king incapable of reigning, and decreed 

England and France. 141 

his deposition. The nearest heir in direct descent was the 
boy Edmund Mortimer, great-grandson of Lionel, Duke of 
Clarence, an elder brother of John of Gaunt. But his tender 
years and few friends defrauded him of a hearing, when the 
victorious Henry of Bolingbroke, now in his forty-fourth year, 
demanded the crown by right of descent, and by right of re- 
covery from the evil government of Richard. Parliament 
accepted Henry as the lawful sovereign. The wretched Rich- 
ard was imprisoned in the castle of Pontefract, where not 
long after he died, or was murdered. He was the eighth and 
last of the Angevin kings in the direct line. The House of 
Plantagenet now divides among the descendants of Edward 
III.'s younger sons, the dukes of Lancaster and York. It was 
in Richard's reign that the statute of Praemunire, originally 
framed in Edward III.'s time, was re-enacted. This was one 
of the twists by which England shook off the hand of the 
pope. This law made it a grave crime for any person to 
bring into England any bull or letter of excommunication 
from the pope without the consent of the king. 

Henry IV.* (1399-1413) was the first of the Lancastrian 
kings, and as he had his own right to the throne to vindicate 
he could afford neither idleness nor oppression. He was under 
obligation to the northern nobles, who had helped him to win 
the crown, and to the archbishop, who had put it on his head. 
But the friendship with the Percys soon turned to open war. 
The earl of Northumberland, with his son, Harry Percy, 
called " Hotspur," from his dashing border raids, had expended 




I j i i " i 

Edward William. Lionel, John Edmund 

the Black Prince, Duke of Clarence, of Gaunt= Kate of Langley, 
d. 1376. I I Swynford. Duke of York. 

| The House of HENRY IV. | I 

RICHARD IT., Mortimer. Bolingbroke, The House The House of 

deposed 1399 by r. 1399-141£jL_ of York. 
Henry IV. I ' Beaufort. 

The House of 

142 An Outline History of England. 

blood and treasure in guarding the frontier against the Seots. 
For this the king did not reward them. Harry Percy had mar- 
ried into the family of the Mortimers, and thus become related 
to Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, already mentioned as 
Richard's lawful heir. Wales revolted in 1400 under Owen 
Glen dower, who claimed descent from the old Celtic stock. 
Hotspur, Mortimer, and Glendower leagued against the king, 
and were beaten by him near Shrewsbury, in 1403, where 
young Percy lost his life. His father continued in revolt for 
several years. Glendower retreated to the strongholds of 
the Welsh mountains, and resisted the English until his death 

If the king, as the Percys charged, broke faith with the 
barons, he kept it with the bishops. The lords of the Church 
could not disregard the practical tendency of the Wiclifite 
doctrines. Little as the abbots and deans may have cared for 
purity of doctrine, they had a very sensitive regard for the 
rights of property, which were recklessly assailed by the level- 
ing Lollards. The first year of the fifteenth century (1401) 
is memorable for the passage of a Statute of Heresy. King 
Henry had already urged the regular clergy to put a stop to the 
preaching of the " simple priests " of Wiclif 's sect. This act 
of Parliament gave the Church authority to arrest heretical 
preachers, teachers, and writers, to imprison them, and, on 
their persistent refusal to abjure their errors, to burn them 
alive in a public place, that the people might see and be ad- 
monished. The bishops were eager to begin their persecu- 
tion. William Sautre and John Badby, a priest and a lay- 
man of Lynn, were the first martyrs of the reign — the leaders 
in a procession of Englishmen, Catholic and Protestant, 
who furnished food for persecuting flames for two centuries. 

Henry's reign was brief and full of trouble. On May 20, 
1414, he died in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster 
Abbey, leaving his kingdom to his son, Prince Hal, who cuts 
a merry figure with Sir John Falstaff in Shakespeare's play 

England and France. 143 

of Henry IV. Henry V. of Monmouth (1413-1422) had 
been a main-stay of his father's reign, and the stories which 
tell of his youthful roisterings can scarcely rest on solid foun- 
dations. He was twenty-five years old at the time of his 
father's death, and had already approved himself a soldier in 
the war with Wales. Comely of face and figure, brave 
and skillful in war, and ambitious to restore the military rep- 
utation of England, Harry of Monmouth became a popular 
hero like Richard Lion-heart and Edward the Black Prince, 
and the exploits of Richard in Palestine, and of Edward at 
Crecy and Poitiers, are matched by Henry's deeds at Agin- 

The Pollards troubled the first months of the reign. Sir 
John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, an able soldier, a friend of 
the king, and a leading man in the realm, turned Wiclifite, 
and tried to protect his fellow-believers. He was denounced 
as a traitorous demagogue, and some of his actions per- 
suaded Henry that he was plotting the destruction of the 
king and the chief men of the council. Cobham was taken 
and burned, and many Lollards perished with him. 

Nearly the entire reign of Henry V. was occupied by his 
campaigns in France. His conquests mark the second period 
of the Hundred Years' War. Since the peace of Bretigny 
was broken there had been no serious fighting between the 
two nations, though there had been as little settled peace. 
At Henry's accession France was plunged in a civil war. 
The king, Charles VI., was insane, and his nobles were fight- 
ing for the mastery of the government. Henry immediately 
asserted his claim to the French crown, basing his demands 
upon the right of his grandfather, Edward III. That he 
had not the shadow of justice on his side is evident, but 
ambition he had and wonderful ability. 

Before he sailed from England he had discovered and 
crushed a conspiracy to dethrone him in favor of his cousin, 
Edmund Mortimer. In 1415 he crossed to Calais with 

144 An Outline History oir England. 

an army, intending to engage in turn with the contending 
factions. But at his approach contention ceased, and it was 
a united host far greater than his own which faced his bow- 
men at Agincourt, October 25, 1415. His peril was greater 
than that of Edward at Poitiers, for his men were sick and 
starving, and the enemy awaited his charge instead of forfeit- 
ing their advantage by making the attack. The words which 
Shakespeare puts in Henry's mouth on the battle-field are 
much like those which the king really spoke. Before the 
combat the earl of Westmoreland had wished that some of 
England's idle warriors might be in their ranks. Not so the 


"No, my fair cousin: 
If we are marked to die, we are enow 
To do our country loss ; and if to live, 
The fewer men the greater share of honor. 
God's will! I pray thee wish not one man more." 

The battle was long and stubbornly contested. But at 
Agincourt, as at Crecy, no weapon could withstand the cloth- 
yard shafts from the English long-bows. King Henry fought 
in the thick of the battle, and had his helmet split open by a 
French sword. His intrepid courage inspired his men to ex- 
ploits almost beyond belief, and the sun set upon a plain 
strewn with 11,000 French corpses. The English had won 
the field. 

They had won scarcely more. The victorious army was 
so small and so ill provisioned that it was folly to continue the 
campaign. The king went home to England. In 1417 he re- 
turned with well-digested plans for the conquest of Normandy, 
and a strong force to carry them into execution. In two 
masterly campaigns he had won back the chief towns and 
castles of this fair duchy, when a sudden turn in French 
politics threw open the doors to a more splendid triumph. 
Duke John of Burgundy, the most powerful noble in France, 
was murdered by the party of the Dauphin Charles, son and 

England and France. 145 

heir of the lunatic king, Charles VI. John's revengeful son 
and successor, Philip " le Bon," master of the king's person 
and household, betrayed his country to King Henry. By 
the treaty of Troyes (1420) Henry of England was made 
regent of France during the life of Charles VI. and heir to 
the French crown at his death. To cement the union Henry 
took Catharine, the princess-royal, to Avife. The country 
north of the Loire owned him as regent, but in the southern 
provinces the disinherited Dauphin Charles maintained a 
prolonged but ineffectual struggle for his rights. At King 
Henry's death (August, 1422) his son, a babe of nine months, 
was acknowledged King Henry VI. of England and heir of 
France. Two months later the mad Charles died also, and 
the baby king of England was formally proclaimed king 
of France. In his will Henry V. named his two brothers, 
Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, and John, Duke of Bedford, 
as regents of England and France respectively. 

146 Ax Outline History of England. 


LANCASTER AND YORK. 1422 A. D.- 1485 A. D. 


The enormous power which Henry V. had wielded was 
jeopardized by his death. Even the arrangements which he 
had made for the management of the two kingdoms were 
not fully respected. John, Duke of Bedford, was allowed to 
retain the regency of France and to continue his brother's 
struggle with the Dauphin, hut the other brother, Gloucester, 
was intrusted with the empty honor of "protector," the 
government of England being really conducted by a council 
of lords — Church and lay — directed by Gaunt's son, Henry 
Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester. Parliament retained little 
influence in the realm, and the commons almost none. The 
baronage had grown rich from the plunder of France, and 
the Church from the taxes of England. Through their 
representatives in the council these two classes exercised 
almost absolute authority, and the liberties which the rise 
of the commonalty had brought almost within reach of the 
English nation vanished. 

The dauphin, whom the national party in France crowned 
at Poitiers as King Charles VII., inherited but a small share 
of his father's dominions. By the provisions of the Treaty 
of Troyes (1420) he inherited nothing, the whole realm 
passing to the English House of Lancaster, whose armies al- 
ready occupied two thirds of France by virtue of Henry V.'s 
conquests, and his alliance with the great dukes of Burgundy. 
This English rule could not be popular, and the private 
grudge of the Burgundians against the French royal family 

Lancaster and Yoek. 147 

was destined to die of itself, or to be smothered by other 
interests. Whenever Burgundy withdrew her hand from 
England's friendly grasp the English power in France must 
inevitably fall. Such was the French situation when John 
of Bedford was installed as regent. In diplomatic and mili- 
tary skill John was scarcely inferior to the late king, his 
brother, and could he have depended, as did the latter gen- 
eral, upon the united support of the nobility at home he 
might have given some degree of permanence to the English 
domination of France. The new French king was weak in 
mind, and appalled by the disaster which had befallen his 
kingdom. The South, which remained true to him, and the 
patriots who clung to the royal line drew little inspiration 
from his feeble efforts to expel the foreigners. The Scots 
and Milanese who were sent to his assistance were terribly 
beaten at Verneuil (1424). After this battle, affairs in En- 
gland and a temporary defection of the Burgundians tied 
Bedford's hands for the space of three years. In 1428 active 
hostilities were renewed. Orleans, the finest city remaining 
to Charles, was invested by an English army, and after a 
year's siege was on the point of capitulation when — one of 
the most marvelous events in history — a peasant girl saved 
the city and the nation. 

Joan of Arc — " Jeanne Dare " is her real name — was the 
daughter of a laboring man of Domremy, a hamlet on the 
borders of Lorraine, in France. She was three or four years 
old when Henry of Monmouth's yeomen routed the French 
knights at Agincourt, and she was in her eighteenth year 
when the miseries of her nation called her from her father's 
cottage to the camp of her rightful king. She had been a quiet, 
thoughtful child, and in dreams and visions by day and by 
night she had held conversations with saints and angels. 
Mysterious " voices " told her what to do. When she grew to 
young womanhood and heard the neighbors tell of the war and 
the degradation of France, the voices whispered to her that the 

148 An Outline History of England. 

King of heaven had chosen her, the peasant girl of Domremy, 
to deliver the king of France from his enemies. Her father's 
threats could not make her disobey the sacred call. The 
priests and the captains who tried to stay her shrank back 
before her unquestioning faith in her mission. Jeanne was 
not the only superstitious person in the realm, and her faith 
bred faith in others around her. They brought her to 
Charles, to whom she said : " Gentle sir, I am Jeanne the 
Maid. The heavenly King sent me to tell you that you shall 
be crowned in the town of Rheims, and you shall be lieuten- 
ant of the heavenly King, who is the King of France." 

Rheims was then in English hands, and it was difficult to 
believe her words ; but it was even more difficult to doubt 
her calm confidence, and the maid was furnished with the 
armor and the troops that she required. By a bold maneuver 
she entered Orleans and brought succor to the besieged. 
At the head of the garrison she sallied forth and captured the 
English forts beyond the walls, liberating the city from its 
long constraint (1429). The French soldiery reverenced her 
courage and saintly purity; in the English camp her name 
was at first a by-word, but after her successes they feared the 
" Maid of Orleans " as a witch, declaring that her guiding 
" voices " were of the devil. Jeanne's victories seemed indeed 
magical to the Englishmen, who had considered themselves 
invincible; but they overlooked the simple fact that the hero- 
ism of the Maid had at last kindled the patriotism of the 
people, and the force of the nation was rapidly gathering to 
the support of the dauphin. Before the end of the year 
Charles was crowned in the cathedral of Rheims, and Jeanne, 
her mission accomplished, begged to be allowed to go home to 
the sheep pastures of her native Lorraine. But the king, who 
had found her useful, refused her request. She remained 
with the army, but her successes were less marked now, and 
in 1430 she fell into the hands of the Burgundians, the foes 
of France and Bedford's friends. Their duke sold her to the 

Lancaster and York. ]49 

English, who held her for a year a prisoner in Normandy, 
and afterward tried her for witchcraft and heresy. She 
asserted her innocence and purity to the last. When the 
judges gave sentence against her she appealed to "her Judge, 
the King of heaven and earth," saying: "In all my doings 
God has been my lord." They condemned her to be burned 
to death. The French kinor miorht well have given his crown 
to ransom her, for without her he would have been crown- 
less, but the ingrate let the sentence take its course. In 1431, 
before she was yet twenty-one years old, Joan of Arc, pray- 
ing aloud and crying " Jesus !" with her last painful breath, 
was burned in the city of Rouen. 

Four years after Joan's martyrdom England's grip upon 
France was loosened. The duke of Burgundy joined King 
Charles. The regent Bedford died in the same year (1435), 
and the area of English influence on the Continent grew less 
with every campaign. The duke of York, as regent, en- 
deavored to save a portion of the realm for Henry, but in 
vain. Henry Beaufort, cardinal and bishop of Winchester, 
upheld the hands of the English generals, and after his re- 
tirement the earl of Suffolk continued his policy. Still the 
English lost ground. In the year 1450 the last Norman town 
surrendered to France, and in 1453 the defeat of Lord 
Talbot, of Shrewsbury, won Gascony also. The Hundred 
Years' War was at an end. England lost not only her recent 
conquests and re-conquests, but all her lands in France, 
except the town of Calais, were taken from her. 

Very little had Henry VI. to do with the events which 
have been recorded in this chapter. During the first twenty 
years of his reign he was under guardianship as a minor, and 
the last ten were marked by long periods of idiocy which 
disqualified him for government. He was married to Marga- 
ret, Princess of Anjou, but until 1453 he had no heir, and 
a vigorous controversy raged over the matter of the succes- 
sion. Out of the disputed claims of the ducal families of 

150 Ax Outline History of England. 

Lancaster and York, called from their badges the "Red 
Rose " and the "White," sprang the thirty years (1455-1485) 
of civil uproar, which are known as the Wars of the Roses, and 
to whose history we have now come. The vexed question 
of the royal inheritance will be better understood by refer- 
ence to the genealogical table of the descendants of Edward 
III. (p. 150.) For three generations the crown had been in the 
family of Lancaster — the three Henrys being son, grandson, 
and great-grandson of John of Gaunt. Concluding that 
Henry VI. would die childless, the Lancastrian party looked 
to Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, grandson of John 
of Gaunt by his mistress, Catherine Swynford. Richard 
Plantagenet, Duke of York, was his principal rival. Richard 
had double claim to the inheritance if he chose to press it. 
From his mother, Ann Mortimer, he received the rights of 
the earls of March, the descendants of Edward's third son, 
Lionel, and from his father he inherited the claims and titles 
of Edmund, Duke of York, Edward's fifth son. The ille- 
gitimate Beauforts had once been debarred from the throne 
by law; if, therefore, the Lancastrian king had no children 
Richard Plantagenet would be his lawful heir; meanwhile 
his prior claim as earl of March was kept in reserve. 

The contest opened, therefore, with Edmund Beaufort, the 
Lancastrian Duke of Somerset, and Richard Plantagenet, 
Yorkist, striving for recognition as heir to Henry VI. In 
1453 a son, Edward, Prince of Wales, was born to the king 
and Margaret, his queen. This offered a peaceful settlement 
for the quarrel by annulling the claims of both parties, and 
had Henry been able to rule in his own name the nation 
might have escaped the civil wars ; but his malady increased, 
and the periods of lethargy through which he passed made it 
necessary for the helm of the State to be in a steadier grasp. 
Duke Richard was appointed protector of the realm — he 
seems to have had the favor of the people — during Henry's 
incapacitation. Queen Margaret with an eye to her son's 

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152 An Outline History of England. 

future supported the Lancastrian, Edmund Beaufort. 
The king's disease came and went; in his periods of sanity 
he resumed the government, and, guided by Somerset, took 
harsh measures against York. The strength of the Yorkist 
party lay in the earls of Salisbury and Warwick. In 1455 
the royal army was beaten by Richard and the two earls in 
the first battle of St. Albans, and Edmund Beaufort was 
slain. Richard resumed the regency, and the king relapsed 
into imbecility. At his next recovery, in 1458, there was 
another revolution. The Yorkist party defended itself, and 
in the battle of Northampton, 1460, captured the king. 

Elated by his victory, and encouraged by his full pos- 
session of the throne, Richard now asserted his immediate 
claim to the crown as the descendant of Lionel, John of 
Gaunt's elder brother. This Parliament refused to allow in 
full, but it was decided that the duke of York, and not the 
prince of Wales, should succeed Henry at his death. This 
called the Red Rose into the Held. A new duke of Somer- 
set had succeeded Edmund, and with him stood Lord Clif- 
ford in the struggle for the inheritance of Prince Edward. 
They cut the Yorkish forces in pieces in the battle of 
Wakefield (1460). Duke Richard died on the field, and 
the earl of Salisbury on the scaffold. The duke's son, 
Edward, and Salisbury's son, the earl of Warwick, con- 
tinued the Yorkist resistance. Unchecked by defeat, they 
occupied London, gathered a great army in the east, and in 
the early spring of 1461 (March 29) met the Lancastrian 
army on Towton Field. Twenty thousand bloody corpses 
were strewn on the snow-covered field at sunset, where the 
banner of the Red Rose had floated at dawn. The fiercest 
battle that had been fought in Britain in four centuries was 
won by Edward. The pitiable king fled to Scotland with 
his stout-hearted queen and her little son, while Parliament 
and citizens alike hailed Edward of York as king. In June, 
1461, he was crowned as King Edward IV. 

Lancaster and York. 153 

Edward IV. was a strong man, handsome and brave, but 
with much of the tyrant in him. With parliaments he had 
small patience, and under him that body lost the strength 
which it had been accumulating since the death of Simon 
of Montfort. For several years he did not once summon 
the lords and commons, managing by various unconstitu- 
tional devices to raise, without legal taxation, the money 
which the prosecution of his ambitious schemes required. 
The estates of the conquered Lancastrians were forfeited 
to the crown ; subsidies were granted and collected for 
wars which were never fought ; and when Parliament was 
called together no more the king invited the rich citizens 
of London to give of their substance " benevolences " into 
the royal treasury. A royal invitation was a command, and 
these reluctant offerings were not withheld. Beyond all 
these sources of revenue Edward was a money-maker in 
a manner new to English sovereigns. The world was awak- 
ening from the sleep of the Middle Ages. The crusades had 
increased communication between the east and west, and 
trade had followed in their wake. The king became a mer- 
chant, owning and freighting a fleet of ships whose 
voyages turned fresh streams of gold into his treasure 
chests. In this fifteenth Christian century Europe was 
all astir. Medieval customs, the feudal system, the tem- 
poral supremacy of the Catholic Church had passed their 
prime, and the old order was ready for a change. In Italy 
art was blossoming forth into its most perfect flower. In 
the courts of western Europe a Genoese sailor was showing 
a set of curious maps, and begging for means to discover a 
new world. John Gutenberg, a German, was cutting types 
for the first printed book ; and in every university and 
many a monastic library there was wide-eyed wonderment 
at the treasures of Greek and Latin literature which, long 
preserved in Constantinople, had been dispersed at its capt- 
ure (1453). Arts, sciences, learning — intellectual activity of 

154 An Outline History of England. 

every sort was born again. The Wars of the Roses held 
England back from the general advance. Her artists were 
rude imitators, she had no poets, her first printers served their 
time in continental offices, and Columbus was sent with 
rebuffs from London to the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. 

King Edward's wars did not end with his accession. The 
great Lancastrian lords had lost their lives and their lands in 
the hour of defeat, but the great allies of York claimed un- 
usual favors from the duke of whom they had made a king. 
The earl of Warwick, "the king-maker," himself, was 
Edward's most rebellious subject. After Towton battle the 
unconquerable Queen Margaret had roused the Lancastrians 
to other futile efforts for her son. To these the battle of 
Hexham (1464) had put an end, and Edward felt encouraged 
to show his independence. He offended Earl Warwick and 
the Yorkist lords by marrying Lady Elizabeth Grey, and heap- 
ing favors upon her relatives of the house of Lancaster. To 
strengthen his seat on the throne he betrothed his sister to Duke 
Charles the Bold, of Burgundy, the leading peer of France. 

The ambition and jealousy of the duke of Clarence, 
Edward's brother, furnished Warwick with a center for his 
plots. Clarence married the earl's daughter (1469), and the 
allied nobles seized the person of the king. But their propo- 
sition found no supporters. Edward, soon released, and mov- 
ing quickly, pressed the conspirators so hard that they were 
forced to new treasons for their safety. Queen M irgaret, 
ready for any alliance which should benefit her husband and 
the prince of Wales, promised the earl that her son should 
wed his daughter. Thus the remnant of the strength of 
Lancaster joined with the main-stay of the house of York to 
ruin Edward. Surprised by this sudden turn, the king 
escaped to France, while the distracted Henry VI. was 
brought from his prison for a few weeks of feeble grandeur. 

But the subtlety of the king-maker was surpassed by Ed- 
ward. Charles the Bold had furnished assistance, and his 

Lancaster and York. 155 

own conduct after landing in England rallied an army to his 
standard. Henry, the lawful sovereign, had been restored, 
and Edward declared that with the king he had no quarrel. 
His royal rights and title he would waive ; only for his 
dukedom of York would he fight. This specious statement 
made the way easy. Even his brother, Clarence, took part in 
this vindication of the house of York. The Lancastrians 
lacked a leader. King Henry was king only in name ; 
Prince Edward was a youth of seventeen ; and the traitor 
Warwick, the strongest man in the party, had so identified 
himself with the Yorkist cause in the past that half his pres- 
ent host mistrusted his sincerity. Edward IY. alone was 
kingly, and he was soon the only king. He struck his ene- 
mies before they could unite; Warwick's army was routed 
at Barnet in April, 1471, and three weeks later Margaret 
was defeated at Tewkesbury, and her son, the prop of the 
house of Lancaster, either fell in the fray or was mercilessly 
murdered at its close. On May 22 the husband and father, 
Henry VL, died in his prison. No direct male representa- 
tive of the house of Lancaster survived. 

Edward IY. resumed the crown unchallenged. For twelve 
years he reigned securely. There was a brief war with Scot- 
land, and for a longer period there were rumors of war with 
France. The king renewed the claims of Edward III. to 
the throne of that kingdom, and when that cloud of war had 
blown over, his negotiations with Louis XI. for a marriage 
between the dauphin and the English princess, Elizabeth, 
blew up another thunder-head, which, however, held no 
lightning. Diplomacy was the king's best weapon, and by 
its means he kept his kingdom from serious foreign wars, and 
gave it the peace which was needed after the disorder of 
the civil strife. His brother Clarence, whom he feared, was 
convicted of treason and put to death in London Tower 
(1478) — drowned in a butt of malmsey, said the babblers of 
that time. If Edward supposed that the death of Clarence 

156 Ax Outline History of England. 

insured his son's succession he was in grievous error. An- 
other brother remained, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, whom 
many believed guilty of the blood of Henry VI., and upon 
whom the sudden death of Edward IV., April 9, 1483, drew 
dark suspicion of poisoning. 

The king left four children — Edward, Prince of Wales, 
henceforth Edward V.; Richard, Duke of York, soon to 
be smothered in the Tower; Elizabeth, afterward queen of 
Henry VII., and Katharine. Again the accession of an infant 
gave opportunity for usurpation. Edward was in his thir- 
teenth year and incapable of reigning in person ; his uncle, 
Richard of Gloucester, gained possession of the boy and his 
brother, and seized the government by force. To give his 
usurpation a legal gloss he obtained a decree from a council 
of friendly nobles, declaring that the marriage of Edward 
IV. and the Lady Elizabeth Grey was invalid, and their chil- 
dren, therefore, were illegitimate and powerless to inherit. 
That his elder brother, Clarence, had been condemned as a 
traitor tainted the blood of that family, and thus Richard of 
Gloucester remained the next male heir of the house of 
York. Two months only were needed to consummate this 
iniquity ; the duke hurried his nephews (Edward V. and 
Richard of York) to London Tower, and they were never 
seen again. They were doubtless murdered there — smoth- 
ered, one story has it — by their uncle's order. 

In June, 1483, the usurper was crowned as King Rich- 
ard III. But not by deeds of blood alone could the king 
hope to establish himself firmly upon the throne. The 
partisans of Lancaster were his natural enemies, and the best 
men of York were shocked by his heartless murders. The 
king was keen enough to see that he must make real con- 
cessions to the nation for very security's sake. His brother, 
Edward IV., had erred on the side of tyranny. By neglect- 
ing Parliament, and by forced benevolences, he had habitually 
overstepped the bounds which had hedged the English king 

Lancaster axd York. 157 

since the barons brought King John to book at Runnymede. 
By abandoning these forms of misrule Richard might still 
gain favor. He need have been in no ignorance of his 
subjects' wishes. The people of London declared in petition: 
" We be determined rather to adventure and to commit us 
to the peril of our lives and jeopardy of death, than to live 
in such thralldom and bondage as we have lived a long time 
heretofore, oppressed and injured by extortions and new im- 
positions against the laws of God and man, and the laws and 
liberty of this realm, wherein every man is inherited." This 
and like addresses to the throne were effective. Parliament 
was assembled ; the oppressions and exactions of the late 
king were censured, and new and better laws were enacted. 
But this mildness failed to save Gloucester, secure though he 
deemed himself to be. The Princess Elizabeth, his niece, 
represented all that was left of the house of York, and her 
the king determined to wed. 

Another marriage had been planned for the maiden prin- 
cess. A representative of the house of Lancaster still lived. 
This was Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. His grand- 
father, Owen Tudor, was a Welsh gentleman of little impor- 
tance in history had he not married Catharine, the widowed 
queen of Henry Y. From this marriage sprang the earl of 
Richmond, Edmund Tudor, who, with his father's eye for an 
advantageous marriage, wedded Margaret Beaufort, of 
the ducal family of Somerset. Thus Henry Tudor, son 
of Edmund and Margaret, had in his veins, from his mother 
and his father's mother, the Lancastrian blood of John of 
Gaunt. As the last of the Lancasters he was an object of 
suspicion to the Yorkist kings, and prudence prompted him 
to reside in France rather than in his own earldom. The 
Lancastrian politicians joined with those Yorkist partisans 
who had no stomach for Richard's usurpations to marry 
Henry Tudor to Elizabeth of York. Before the marriage 
could be compassed the conspiracy was discovered, and 

153 An Outline History of England. 

Buckingham, one of its leaders, was beheaded for his share in 
the plot. But Henry of Richmond kept beyond the king's 
reach until 1485, when dispatches from England informed him 
that the plans were ripe. Upon his landing Richard per- 
ceived how insecure was his own footing in the island. In 
all parts of the kingdom there were Lancastrian risings, 
while the friends of York, for the mosrt pat, rose with theirs 
or remained quietly in their homes. The last battle in the 
struggle of the Roses was fought, August 22, 1485, on Bos- 
worth Field, in Leicestershire. King Richard's men deserted 
him in the face of the enemy ; he had no chance of flight, 
but —with the bravery of his Plantagenet blood — he sold his 
life at the cost of many, and fell in a vain attempt to kill 
the Tudor. The Red Rose triumphed over the White that 
day, as the White had vanquished the Red at Tewkesbury 
fourteen years before, but the union of the Red and White 
in the marriage of Henry and Elizabeth ended forever the 
strife of Lancaster and York. At Richard's death Henry of 
Richmond was accepted by Parliament as Henry VII., the 
first of the Tudor kings. 

The Tudor Monarchs. 159 


THE TUDOR MONARCHS. 1485 A. D.- 1547 A. D. 


The five sovereigns of the House of Tudor occupied the 
English throne from Henry Tudor's accession in 1485 to the 
death of Elizabeth Tudor in 1G03. Within this period of 
one hundred and eighteen years the kingdom passed through 
a series of radical changes in its internal government, in its 
relation to Ireland, Scotland, and the continental nations, and 
in its connection with the Church of Rome, and with the New 
World, which in 1485 was only a fancy of a penniless Italian 
dreamer. This century marked the transformation of the 
medieval English nation into a modern State, and the change 
was accompanied by a splendid outburst of those intellect- 
ual forces whose beginning had thrilled western Europe 
while the island kingdom stagnated under the curse of 
civil war. 

This era of national growth in wealth and culture did not 
tell with equal force upon the development of free govern- 
ment. The Tudors were a strong-willed family of mon- 
archs, who opposed at every turn the efforts of their subjects 
to limit the authority of the crown. The checks which had 
gradually been placed upon the absolute power of the king 
were essentially these, some of them as old as Magna Charta 
itself : 1. No new tax might be imposed upon the nation 
without the consent of a Parliament in which nobles, 
clergy, and commoners were represented. 2. The consent 
of such a Parliament was requisite for all new laws and all 
changes in the old law. 3. Without legal warrant no man 

160 An Outline History of England. 

might be arrested and deprived of his liberty. 4. Accused 
persons were entitled to speedy trial by a fair jury in the 
county where the offense was committed. 5. All crown 
officers were liable to jury trial and punishment for injuries 
committed upon persons or property, even though such in- 
juries should result from obedience of the king's orders. 

These five safeguards secured to England the most liberal 
government in Europe. It is true that they had not always 
been respected by tyrannous kings, but it is equally certain 
that they were so well established that the king who broke 
through any one of them branded himself as an oppressor. 
Edward IV. had tried to evade some of these limitations, and 
by force and guile had succeeded in strengthening his posi- 
tion at the expense of Parliament. Richard III., as we have 
seen, angled for a short-lived popularity with the bait of 
constitutional reform. Henry VII., when firmly seated on his 
throne, returned to Edward's policy, and worked with steady 
purpose to upbuild the personal power of the sovereign. 

Henry's first care was to make firm his seat. As the repre- 
sentative of Lancaster he might serve as a rallying center for 
a party, but his descent was by a devious line, and his claim 
to the crown of England as his inheritance was absurd. He 
was king by force of arms as truly as Richard had been 
king by treason and murder, and the one had no clearer royal 
title than the other. Parliament decreed that Henry VII. 
and his heirs should rule England ("and France," as the 
empty title still read), and on this Parliamentary act, backed 
by the incontrovertible arguments of conquest and possession, 
the king's position rested. The remnant of the family of 
York was a possible source of disturbance. The two sons of 
Edward IV. were dead, by Richard's order — or as good as dead 
— in the Tower dungeons. Elizabeth, their sister, the king 
married, uniting the blood of Lancaster and York. The 
young earl of Warwick, son of the " malmsey " duke of 
Clarence, and grandson of the King-maker, was cousin and 

The Tudor Moxarchs. 161 

next of kin to Edward V. ; him Henry hurried to the gloomy 
Tower. Such havoc was made among the Yorkist princes 
that the party was in straits for a standard-bearer. In this 
exigency two remarkable impostors appeared in England, 
reviving for a little the withered rose of York. 

The first of these " pretenders " was one Lambert Simnel, 
who claimed to be that earl of Warwick whom Henry held 
in prison. He gathered a band of Yorkist exiles in Europe 
and landed with them in England, in 1487, to claim the king- 
dom as the heir of his cousin, Edward Y. Men of note be- 
lieved him to be Warwick, and gave their lives in battle for 
him at Stoke, where he was defeated and captured. The 
impostor was made a scullion in the royal palace. Little 
daunted by his fate, Perkin Warbeck, another claimant, more 
successful in his pretensions and more wretched in his end 
than Simnel, took up the banner of the cause. He claimed 
to be that Richard, Duke of York, whom the red-handed 
Richard III. had smothered in the Tower with his brother, 
Edward Y. Warbeck is said to have been a Fleming of low 
birth, but he bore a marked resemblance to the prince he 
claimed to be and his personal charm won powerful support. 
Profiting by Simnel's experience the managers of the fresh 
pretender showed their prize in foreign courts before bring- 
ing him to England. For a time he imposed upon King 
Charles VIII. of France, and on the duchess of Burgundy, 
aunt of the real Duke Richard. King James IV. of Scot- 
land gave him substantial aid, and in 1496 Warbeck and the 
Scots' king invaded England. The invasion came to noth- 
ing. Warbeck was captured in the following year and 
placed in the Tower with Henry's other enemies. His re- 
peated attempts to escape made him a dangerous prisoner, 
and in 1499 he and his fellow-prisoner, Warwick, whom 
Simnel had personated, were put to death. The White Rose 
was blasted. 

While dealing with the perils that threatened his line the 

102 An Outline History of England. 

king was pursuing that definite course of strong government 
which characterized his house. The existing checks upon 
the royal authority, which have been enumerated here, were 
as galling to the Tudor sovereigns as they would have been 
to the Norman conqueror. Parliament sat infrequently in 
the last thirteen years of Henry VII. Yet the kingdom had 
ample revenues, and the king amassed a private fortune 
independently of the consent of the lords and commons. 

Certain commercial duties — tonnage and poundage — were 
granted him for life by an early Parliament, and these in- 
creased in profit with the rapid extension of English com- 
merce. Wars with France proved as profitable to Henry as 
they had been to Edward IV. Money for the campaigns 
was obtained from the people, but no battles were fought. 
The English money went into the royal treasury, the French 
king at the same time paying for the privilege of peace. 
As the landlords had revived forgotten bonds of servitude 
when the BTack Death had depleted the labor market, so 
Henry, lacking the tax levies which only Parliament might 
impose, revived ancient feudal rights of the crown over the 
land-owners, and compelled the payment of fines and dues 
which had been in desuetude for generations. Nobles paid 
dearly for exemption from the support of armed retain- 
ers, this method of punishment yielding profit to the king, 
and depriving the feudal lords of the private armies with 
which, in the past, they had intimidated the royal power. 

The development of the art of warfare further strengthened 
the monarchy. In the simpler days, when bow and arrow, 
ax and spear, served for offensive armor, a force of peasants 
was match for a troop of knights, and many a battle went by 
preponderance of numbers. Gunpowder, first employed, per- 
haps, in the battle of Crecy, revolutionized the science of war. 
The Lancastrian kings owed much of their success in France 
to their cannon. The castles of the nobles, which were so 
many strongholds against the king in case of civil war, were 

The Tudor Monarchs. 163 

at the mercy of the royal artillery, and the long castle sieges 
of the early reigns do not appear in the records of the Tudors. 

Landless merchants and other men of wealth had to share 
their gains with the avaricious Henry. " Benevolences," the 
forced contributions levied by Edward IV., and renounced by 
Richard III., were revived, and collected with especial zeal. 
Morton, the royal officer who was charged with their collec- 
tion, was so persistent in his search for wealth that men 
came to speak of " Morton's fork." They said that if a man 
lived extravagantly he was mulcted of a benevolence on the 
ground of evident wealth, and if he sought to avoid this 
fate by unostentatious way of life the sheriffs pounced upon 
him as a miser who must divide his hoard with the king. 

It would have been impracticable for the sovereign to use 
the ordinary jury-courts as a means of enforcing these proj- 
ects for raising money; an impartial jury would have re- 
sisted such acts as tyrannous. So the king had recourse to a 
court composed of high officials and members of his council. 
This court — sometimes called "Star Chamber," from the 
decorations of its meeting-room — heard cases concerning 
fraud, libel, feudal privileges, forgery, perjury, riotings, etc., 
and was in this reign and the next an instrument of the most 
hateful tyranny. Its judges being appointed by the crown, 
and no jury being present, the court was a facile tool. 

Henry VII. died in 1509, leaving to his son, Prince Henry, 
undisputed title to the throne, and a treasure of £2,000,000. 
Besides this son there had been another, Arthur, and two 
daughters. Arthur, the eldest prince, had married Catharine 
of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Spanish 
patrons of Columbus. He soon left her a widow, and the spe- 
cial dispensation of the pope was needed and obtained for her 
marriage with Prince Henry (1509). The Princess Margaret 
found a royal husband in James IV. of Scotland, and so in 
after j^ears became grandmother to Mary, Queen of Scots. 
Mary Tudor, the youngest of Henry's daughters, also wedded 

164 An Outline History of England. 

a king, Louis XII. of France. After his death she married 
an Englishman, Charles Brandon, and so became grand- 
mother of another noble and more pitiable girl, Lady Jane 
Grey. It will be well to bear these several marriages in 
mind, for the history of the sixteenth century in England 
has much to do with wedding, divorcement, and rival claims 
to the succession. 

Henry VIII. — " bluff King Hal " — was eighteen years old 
when he came into his father's noble inheritance in 1509. He 
was in ruddy health, tall, and fair to see, excelling in every 
manner of English sport and not ill-trained, in the learning 
of the schools. In his veins the blood of Edward III. was 
again united after long separation in the families of Lan- 
caster and York. From his father he received a splendid 
treasure and a peaceful and prosperous kingdom, whose long 
quiescence, stagnation indeed, was now giving placa to an 
unprecedented activity in letters, art, and science. His father, 
moreover, bequeathed to him a vigorous mind, a stubborn 
will, and a recklessness of life and law which served him 
well in his thirty-eight years of absolute rule (1509-1547). 

The popular favor which greeted the new king was 
strengthened by an act which augured ill for the security of 
personal rights. Empson and Dudley, two officers who had 
aided Henry VII. in his harsh forms of tax-collection, were 
put to death upon a trumped-up charge. 

Henry thirsted for war as a means of asserting England's 
place among the continental powers, as well as for the glory 
which personal success would bring to him. His marriage 
with Catharine of Aragon determined his place in the strug- 
gle which was vexing Europe. After the expulsion of the 
English from their French possessions the French kings had 
steadily gained in power at the expense of their great feuda- 
tories. France was now well consolidated, and outranked 
all other kingdoms in wealth and military power, having just 
conquered and annexed a large share of Italy. To hold her 

The Tudor Monarchs. 165 

in check was the object of the Holy League, which was 
formed about the year 1511 by Ferdinand of Aragon, Queen 
Catharine's father, with the pope and the Venetian repub- 
lic. In 1512 Henry joined with his father-in-law, and the 
following year the Emperor Maximilian added his weight to 
the column which pushed the French back from Italy. En- 
gland's active share in the military operations of the league 
was unimportant; but her alliance against France at this im- 
portant juncture curbed the arrogance of that proud mon- 
archy. In 1513 Maximilian and Henry drove the French 
cavalry from the field of Guinegate so swiftly that the day 
has ever since been called " the Battle of the Spurs." In the 
same year the Scots, always on the side of France, were 
beaten at Flodden Field by Earl Howard of Surrey, and their 
king, James IV., was slain. Peace with both countries fol- 
lowed — a peace which the diplomatic ability of Thomas 
Wolsey prolonged for seven years (1514-1521). 

Wolsey was the son of a wealthy commoner of Ipswich. 
By fidelity and adroitness he worked his way up in the civil 
service of the State and into the heart of the king's favor. 
Henry gave him rich offices in the Church, he became bishop 
of Lincoln and archbishop of York. Like his early pred- 
ecessor Lanfranc, he was politician first and prelate after- 
ward. He now (1513) took charge of the foreign policy of 
England and formed a passive alliance with France, where 
Francis I. began to reign. Ferdinand of Aragon died, and 
his famous grandson, Charles V., succeeded to the kingdom 
of Spain. With kings like these to deal with Wolsey needed 
every resource, and his master indeed spared none. The 
pope sent the commoner's son a cardinal's hat and a legate's 
commission. This placed him at the head of the English 
Church. He was already foreign minister, and as chancellor 
of the realm he controlled the judicial machinery of the 
nation. In his personal revenues, the magnificence of his 
palaces, the splendor of his household, he was little behind 

166 An Outline History of England. 

royalty itself. All this authority was devoted to Henry's 

The development of Charles V.'s power aroused a new 
ambition in King Henry's breast. Charles was a nephew 
of Queen Catharine, and had now, as German emperor 
and Spanish king, possessions which surrounded and over- 
shadowed those of France. With such an ally the house 
of Tudor might regain the crown of France which Edward 
III. had claimed, Henry V. had won, and Henry VI. had 
forfeited. The conquest seemed easy, and Charles came 
to England in person to urge his royal nephew to action. 
Francis foresaw his peril, and in an interview with Henry 
near Calais sought to recover his friendship. The gorgeous 
preparations for that royal visit christened it "The Field of 
the Cloth of Gold." But the interview was fruitless. Henry, 
Charles, and the pope again joined hands in secret against 
Francis — Charles promising to marry Henry's only child, the 
Princess Mary, his own cousin though she was. Mary was 
formally recognized as heir to the English throne, and 
Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, a distant scion of 
the stock of Edward III., was beheaded on a charge of treason 
(1521) in order to clear the way for Mary Tudor's accession. 

The approach of a foreign war perplexed the cardinal. Dur- 
ing seven peaceful years he had succeeded in governing En- 
gland and raising sufficient revenue without a single session 
of Parliament. Now a Parliament, with all its spirit of inter- 
ference in the king's business, must be called to vote money for 
the war. Parliament (1523) voted less than half the sum 
demanded. In 1525 the government asked for the hated 
" benevolences." Never had the burden fallen so heavily 
or been more stoutly resisted. Bold voices were heard pro- 
testing against the lawless extortion. Bolder hands drove 
the king's agents from their towns. The levy failed. Mean- 
while the war was raging. Charles was winning victories 
from Francis and spending Henry's hard- wrung gold for his 

The Tudor Monarchs. 167 

own benefit. England " went out shearing and came back 
shorn ; " she helped to pay for humbling France, but lost her 
money for her pains. Charles repudiated his pledge to marry 
Mary Tudor, and Henry in dismay transferred his friendship 
to his former foe, the king of France. 

The course of events has now brought us to the central 
event of Henry's reign — his divorce from his first queen. 
This single act led to the fall of Wolsey, the eleva- 
tion of Cromwell, the quarrel with the pope, and the 
final separation of the Church of England from the Church 
of Rome. The royal pair had been married by special per- 
mission of the pope — for their relationship otherwise pro- 
hibited the union. Catharine was some years older than her 
husband ; her sons were all dead, and it was unlikely that 
she should leave him any other heir than the Princess Mary. 
The king was naturally anxious concerning her succession, 
for no woman had yet reigned in England. He now (1525) 
suspected that the death of his sons showed that the marriage 
was accursed ; he had moreover been attracted by the wit 
and beauty of Anne Boleyn. a lady of the queen's house- 
hold. Superstition or passion prompted him to put away 
his wife, but serious obstacles confronted him. A pope had 
blessed the union, and only a papal divorce might dissolve it. 
The pope, Clement VII., was under the thumb of the 
Emperor Charles, and dared not disgrace that monarch's un- 
happy aunt. The queen protested that she had been a true 
and loyal wife and could not be put away without sin. In 
1529 an Italian, Cardinal Campeggio, was sent by the pope 
to judge the case with Cardinal Wolsey, but before the 
court could give sentence the pope stopped the proceedings 
and transferred the case to Rome. Maddened at this turn 
of affairs the king stripped his favorite of his offices, honors, 
and wealth (1529), and would have brought him to the block 
on charge of treason, but disease claimed the broken-spirited 
man before he reached his prison. He died at Leicester in 

168* An Outline History of England. 

1530. Among his last words being those which Shakespeare 

put into verse: 

" Cromwell, Cromwell ! 
Had I but served my God with half the zeal 
I served my king, he would not in mine age 
Have left me naked to mine enemies." 

The great cardinal's real successor in the royal favor was 
Thomas Cromwell, a man of obscure origin who, after a 
strange variety of employments, had attached himself to 
Wolsey's fortunes and clung to his master to the end. 
He combined shrewdness with audacity to a degree which 
made him the ideal minister of an absolute ruler like Henry, 
who fixed his mind on definite objects, and suffered no 
earthly obstacle to block his path. The opposition of the 
pope now shut the king from his dearest wish — divorce and 
a new marriage. 

Cromwell audaciously advised the king to disavow the 
pope's authority, and to annul the divorce himself At 
first the monarch shrank from such a step, and by the 
advice of Cranraer, whom he was rapidly advancing to the 
archbishopric of Canterbury, he called upon the universities 
of Europe to pronounce upon the validity of his marriage 
with his brother's widow. By unblushing bribery he ob- 
tained a favorable opinion from a portion of these scholars, 
although the best men were unanimous against the divorce. 
This flimsy indorsement served the purpose. Archbishop 
Cranmer pronounced the divorce (May, 1533). The king had 
already (in January, 1533) married Anne Boleyn, the gay 
maid of honor. 

By this act the pope was openly defied. He declared 
the king excommunicated; and annulled the divorce; but 
Henry's will, upheld — if indeed need were — by the statesman 
Cromwell and the prelate Cranmer, was inflexible. His Par- 
liament of 1534 passed the acts of Supremacy and Succession, 
the former declaring the king to be the " only supreme 

The Tudor Monakciis. 169 

head on earth of the Church of England," the latter disinher- 
iting the Princess Mary, and making Elizabeth, the new-born 
daughter of Anne Boleyn, heir to Henry's throne. Hence- 
forth no appeals from English ecclesiatical courts should be 
decided in Rome ; the papal revenues from English churches 
were stopped, and the king became what the pope had been 
since St. Augustine entered Canterbury, the spiritual and 
temporal master of the English Church. To Thomas Crom- 
well, as vicar-general, the king deputed his limitless eccle- 
siastical power. 

Refusal to accept the Act of Succession was treason, and 
this act included recognition of the validity of the divorce, 
an admission which a devout Catholic could scarcely make. 
The act became in Cromwell's hands a weapon of persecu- 
tion. With it he convicted the leading Catholics of treason. 
Sir Thomas More, the chancellor, was among the earliest, as 
he was among the noblest, victims. John Fisher, Bishop of 
Rochester, was beheaded for obedience to his conscience 

Cromwell was not content with striking here and there a 
leader among the opposite party. He served his king with 
a zeal surpassing that which the dying Wolsey lamented. 
The Church which Henry had now separated from Rome by 
law must be thoroughly subservient to the king. Its reve- 
nue, its courts, its offices, its lands, its very doctrines must 
be at his disposal. The power delegated to the vicar-general 
was sufficient to accomplish this design. Fresh enactments 
gave the monarch the appointment of all bishops, and a new 
and startling movement brought its property and revenues 
under royal control ; this was the dissolution of the mon- 

Several hundred of these monkish cloisters existed in the 

kingdom. They had originated in a fervent desire to spread 

the Gospel and cultivate holiness of life. For a long period 

they had fulfilled their design, and through the Dark Ages they 


170 Ax Outline History of England. 

preserved whatever was preserved of art, science, and litera- 
ture. But most of them had lost their high aims. The monks 
of the sixteenth century were rich and worldly. By pur- 
chase and bequest they had acquired one fifth of the soil of 
England, and the pursuit of wealth and luxury had super- 
seded the quest for heavenly things. Popular report said 
that the convents were the abodes of luxury and vice. 
The commissioners whom Cromwell sent to investigate 
the affairs of these religious houses reported to Parliament 
in 1536 that a minority of the cloisters were well managed, 
but that drunkenness and vice prevailed in two thirds of 
the number. These latter were in general the smaller estab- 
lishments, and these (376 in number) were now suppressed, 
their revenues being turned into the royal treasury. 

The few larger abbeys remained untouched while the 
many small houses were broken up. It seems that many ot 
the latter were prized in the communities in which they had 
existed. In the north of England the monasteries were in 
favor with the common people, and the bitterness caused by 
their abolition became a revolt. Robert Aske, a young Catho- 
lic lawyer in one of the northern counties, headed a rebellion 
called "The Pilgrimage of Grace " (1536), and many Catho- 
lic lords and Yorkist nobles openly or in secret abetted this 
uprising. Thirty thousand armed men protested against the 
arbitrary rule of Cromwell, the separation from Rome, and 
the disinheritance of Mary. Henry's minister dealt with the 
rebels as Richard II. had dealt with Wat Tyler and the in- 
surgent peasantry of Kent and Essex. The army at his dis- 
posal was weak, but at his promise to comply with the chief 
points in their demand the " pilgrims " dispersed joyfully to 
their homes. Then Cromwell gathered force and swept through 
the north with an avenging sword. He broke his pledges of 
reform (1537), and hunted the rebels to exile or death. The 
lords and abbots fared worse, and a long line of noble names 
was added to the list of traitors hanged on Tyburn gallows. 

The Tudor Monarciis. 171 

Such displays of tyranny aroused the English spirit to 
resist. But the civil wars and the jailers and headsmen of 
Henry VII. had left few men or women of the Plantagenet 
family to whom the disaifected subjects might offer the 
abused crown. One of the surviving Yorkists was Henry 
Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, a grandson of Edward IV. 
He lived in an atmosphere of plots; for every man who hated 
Henry Tudor hoped for better things under Henry Courtenay. 
Exeter, w T ith bis brother, Lord Montague, and his mother, 
the countess of Salisbury, were executed in 1539 for treason. 

At the same time a new campaign was begun against the 
monasteries which remained. The abbots, fearing the conse- 
quences of delay, surrendered their estates to the king — some 
had already fallen to him by the treason of their occupants. 
To the monks thus deprived of their homes pensions were 
granted. Some of the Church lands were sold, others granted 
to favorites of the king — all went to increase the holdings of 
nobles and gentry, and to strengthen these classes against a 
restoration of monasticism. 

Not all the violence which accompanied the abolition of 
the monasteries arose from the mere separation of the 
Church from Rome, or the edict against religious establish- 
ments. A more powerful influence was working in the 
minds of Englishmen. The Church which had been cut 
loose from Roman rule was about to cut loose from Roman 
doctrines. The belief as well as the organization of the 
clergy was to undergo a change. The Protestant reforma- 
tion was at hand. 

By the year 1546, the date of Luther's death, Protestant- 
ism had reached its fullest extent on the Continent. This 
reform had its influence upon England, where Wiclif's 
Bible and Lollardy had prepared the soil for good seed. 
The early years of Henry VIII. 's reign coincided with the 
period of the greatest excitement over the Lutheran revolt, 
and in the controversy of those times the king was the ally 

172 An Outline History of England. 

of the pope. As his sword was at the pope's service in the 
Holy League, his pen was also wielded in the war of words. 
In 1522 Henry put forth a book in defense of Catholic doc- 
trine, for which the pope dubbed him " Defender of the 
Faith," and which called out Luther's remark, " When God 
wants a fool he lets a king teach theology." This was in 
1522, before the divorce question set all old notions aside. 
Wolsey was a faithful Catholic, and he attempted by persecu- 
tion to prevent the spread of the new ideas in England. Nor- 
folk and More, his immediate successors, continued this part 
of his policy, but Cromwell reversed it. 

What the vicar-general believed we cannot say, but his 
influence certainly favored the Protestants. His ally, the 
primate Cranmer, was instilled with Lutheran doctrines, 
though he did not desire to force them on the Church in 
opposition to the royal will. For a time the king let himself 
be ruled by the vicar-general and the archbishop. In 1536 
Coverdale's edition of the English Bible, which William 
Tyndale had translated, was not only published in En- 
gland but by royal command appointed to be read in the 
churches (1538). Two years before new articles of religion 
were set forth, by the king's own hand, prescribing what 
Christians should believe. They simplified the Roman for- 
mula, but retained its most important features, lagging far 
behind the radicalism of Luther and the Swiss and French 
reformers. Henry himself was no Protestant. Only neces- 
sity had forced him to break with the papacy, and he hated 
Luther as soundly after the divorce as before it. 

The outrageous conduct of the people, who vandalized the 
abbey churches and insulted the priests at mass, caused the 
king to draw back from all reforms of doctrine which looked 
toward Protestantism. In 1539 the " Six Articles," the hate- 
ful " whip of six strings " for the correction of Protestants, 
was enacted in accordance with his wish by Parliament. It 
declared six points of doctrine, the denial of any one being 

The Tudor Monarchs. 173 

heresy; the heretic punishable with death on the second, if 
not the first, offense. The six strings were : 1. Transubstan- 
tiation — the dogma that the blessing of the priests at com- 
munion transforms the bread and wine into the actual body 
and blood of Christ. 2. Communion in only one kind 
(bread) for laymen. 3. Celibacy of the priesthood. (Luther 
and his preachers were married.) 4. Inviolability of vows 
of chastity made by monks and nuns. 5. Necessity of pri- 
vate masses. G. Necessity of confession of sins to a priest. 
The heavy penalties consequent upon infraction of these ar- 
ticles were kept off by the hand of Cromwell. 

But Cromwell, though yet strong, was beset by enemies. 
The despoiled monks, the subjected clergy, the proud nobles, 
who chafed at the supremacy of a man of common birth, all 
strove to poison the king's mind against him. As Cromwell's 
advice in regard to the divorce of one queen was the means 
of his rise, his recommendation of another hastened his fall. 

In 1536 Anne Boleyn, whose family were of the Protestant 
faction, incurred the king's disapproval; a subservient Par- 
liament declared the marriage void by reason of her unfaith- 
fulness. She was executed as a traitor, and her widowed 
husband solaced himself next day by marrying Jane Sey- 
mour. She died in 1537, giving birth to a son, Edward, who 
became heir to the throne, his half-sisters, Mary the Catholic 
and Elizabeth, having been debarred from the succession on 
the ground of illegitimacy. For three years the sovereign 
lived single, taking his fourth wife, in 1540, on the word of his 
minister Cromwell. This marriage was one of Cromwell's 
prudent measures to gain a political alliance with the Prot- 
estant princes of Germany. The lady was a German of noble 
family, sister of the elector of Saxony. But she was tall, 
coarse, and ill-featured — " a Flanders mare !" the rough king 
said when he first saw his bride. Her homely face was 
Cromwell's death-warrant. Henry withdrew his support 
from the man who, as he thought, had tricked him. The 

174 An Outline History of England. 

Catholic Howard, Duke of Norfolk, the leading noble, accused 
the vicar-general of treason. Conviction, without a hearing, 
and execution followed in a few days, and in July, 1540, one 
of the strongest heads that ever directed English affairs fell 
beneath the axman's stroke. As for poor Anne, the king soon 
cast her off, and married in her stead Catherine Howard, a 
niece of the cluke of Norfolk. 

From the death of Cromwell (1540) until shortly before 
the death of the king (1547), the Howards — Norfolk, and his 
son, the poet Surrey — were the chief ministers of the govern- 
ment. Henry himself was personally supreme in the king- 
dom, and exercised through his ministers greater powers 
than had been wielded by any king since Magna Charta. 

Parliament met, it is true, with considerable regularity, but 
neither House dared, or cared, to run counter to the will of 
the sovereign. In the House of Lords the power of the 
Church had been crushed; for the mitered abbots sat there 
no longer, and the bishops were the nominees of the king. 
The temporal peers were equally submissive. Gibbet and 
block had removed the men who might have led an opposi- 
tion, and grants from the Church lands had bound the others 
to their royal patron. A new landed aristocracy had been 
founded by the distribution of the broad acres of the monks, 
and far more of the leading families of England date their 
prominence from the conquest of the English Church by 
Henry than from the conquest of the island by William 
the Norman. The commons were scarcely behind the lords 
in their obedience to the wishes of the sovereign, for the 
members of the lower house knew the color of Henry's gold, 
and had shared in the plunder of the convents. 

Thus constituted, Parliament, established as a check 
upon royal authority, became a tool of tyranny. The king's 
own court of Star-Chamber was not so quick to pass sentence 
on his enemies as this Parliament, whose bills of attainder — 
at an hour's notice, and without a hearing — tried, condemned, 

The Tudor Monarchs. 175 

and sentenced to confiscation and death whomsoever the 
king would destroy. 

The duke of Norfolk was a Catholic and a papist, but none 
dared whisper to the king the possibility of restoring the papal 
authority in the English Church. Henry had not gone far 
toward Protestantism, but he had settled this one point for- 
ever: that no Italian pope should supplant an English king 
in any department of Church or State. On the Continent his 
sympathies were with the pope against the Protestants. 

Reform in the Church he undoubtedly desired, and to 
some extent he carried his desire into execution. The serv- 
ice in English churches was pruned of certain superstitious 
practices ; the litany and prayers were revised and printed 
in English, and, with some restrictions, the English Bible 
was recommended to the people as the ground of their faith 
and life. 

The king and the men who stood with him against the 
Lutheran reformation hoped that a universal council of 
Christendom might peacefully incorporate these moderate 
changes in the Roman Church, and thus stay, if not close, the 
schism which was rending the Catholics of western Europe. 
In 1543 Henry is again found in alliance with the emperor 
Charles V. for a war with France. Leagued with Charles he 
hoped to sway the proposed Catholic council to his moderate 
schedule of reform; but the council held at Trent in 1545 
was a disappointment. It denounced with unmeasured 
vehemence the heresies of England, as well as those of the 
German reformers, and it upheld without apology the super- 
stitions and errors against which Luther had raised protest, 
and which the English had abandoned. The Council of 
Trent determined that there should be no compromise 
between Rome and Protestantism, and Henry's hope faded 
when the emperor took sides with the pope. 

But the theologians had no terrors for the English king. 
He refused to retrace a single step which separated him 

176 An Outline History of England. 

from the papacy, nor would he advance further toward the 
Protestantism which was growing around him. While lines 
between the two parties were being more strictly drawn, the 
Howards and Bishop Gardiner leading the Catholics, and 
Cranmer and Latimer showing more of the Protestant color, 
King Henry stood by himself, leaning toward neither faction. 
Anne Askew and three others, who denied the first of the 
six articles, were burned for their heresy; but on the other 
side Bishop Latimer, the most powerful preacher in England, 
the royal chaplain, was acquitted of heretical guilt. 

Shortly before his death the king changed ministers again; 
the Howards went to the Tower, and the Seymours, the earl 
of Hertford at their head, came to the council-board. The 
earl of Surrey died a traitor's death, but Norfolk remained 
alive in prison when the king, Henry VIII., breathed his last, 
January 28, 1547. Catherine Howard had already been exe- 
cuted for unwifely conduct, which was accounted treason, 
and the king had taken a sixth wife, Catherine Parr, who 
outlived her much-married lord. 

The wars of Henry's later years had been of slight im- 
portance. In Scotland the authority of the pope was still 
acknowledged, and the influence of France was ever present 
to keep alive the old hatred of England. Henry VII. had 
married his daughter, Margaret, to James IV., King of Scots, 
in the hope of forming a bond of peace and friendship be- 
tween two kingdoms of common race and interests; but the 
Scots continued to take their orders from France. James 
V., whose army invaded England in 1542, was the son of 
Henry VIII.'s sister Margaret, but the blood-bond counted 
for nothing in the war which followed. After the disgrace- 
ful conduct of his cowardly troops at Sol way Moss he re- 
turned to Scotland to die. Undismayed by the failure of 
his father's policy, the English king made peace with Scot- 
land, one condition being the marriage of James's little 
daughter, Mary Stuart, with his own son by Jane Seymour, 

The Tudor Moxarchs. 1*77 

Prince Edward. Had this been consummated the union of 
the t\v r o kingdoms might have been anticipated by fifty- 
years. But it was not to be. The French party in the north- 
ern kingdom defeated the negotiation, and Henry renewed 
the war, sending Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, to 
ravage the Lowlands, a commission which was unsparingly 
performed. An invasion of France ensued, to punish that 
nation for its work in Scotland. The campaign ended, how- 
ever, without important acquisitions. In this reign Wales 
was incorporated with England (1536), and no distinction 
held henceforth between Welshmen and Englishmen. 

178 An Outline History of England. 


THE LATER TUDORS. 1547 A. D.-1603 A. D. 


Three children of Henry VIII. survived their father. 
Mary, daughter of Catharine of Aragon, was the eldest; 
Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn's daughter, was next in age, and 
Edward, the nine-year-old son of Jane Seymour, was the 
youngest. The question of the succession had sorely vexed the 
king, and at his request Parliament had made several separate 
settlements. Mary was first made heir, but the divorce made 
her an illegitimate child and destroyed her claim. Then 
Elizabeth was chosen, but by her mother's " treason " her 
claim also was forfeited. Finally the king was empowered 
to determine for himself the line of inheritance. He named 
his son as his successor, and, in case Edward should die with- 
out issue, directed that the inheritance should pass in order 
to the Princess Mary, the Princess Elizabeth, and then to the 
heirs of Henry VII. 's daughter Mary Brandon, Duchess of 
Suffolk. The will furthermore appointed a commission of 
sixteen men to govern the kingdom until Edward should 
attain his majority. 

Unwilling to commit the government wholly either 
to the Reformation or to Rome the king had shrewdly 
mingled the two English parties in the composition of this 
council of regency, but the ambition of one of its members, 
Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, frustrated the plans of 
the king. Seymour was in sympathy with the Reformation. 
He was Queen Jane Seymour's brother, and uncle of Edward 
VI., and he was executor of the royal will. Making the 

The Later Tudors. 179 

best of his advantages he excluded Gardiner, the strongest of 
the Catholics, from the council, gained possession of the 
person of the boy-king, and had himself declared duke of 
Somerset and " Protector of the Realm." Under this title 
he exercised full royal power in the name of his nephew, 
Edward VI. 

To complete the work which King Henry had under- 
taken in Scotland was Somerset's first duty. The mar- 
riage treaty which was to unite King Edward with Mary 
Stuart was yet unfulfilled, and the benefits which would ac- 
crue from its fulfillment seemed to warrant every exertion 
to attain that end. The safety of England was continually 
imperiled by the near neighborhood of Scotland, the friend 
of France and Rome. The Protector led an army across the 
border to enforce the marriage treaty, and defeated the 
Scottish lords at Pinkie, not far from Edinburgh, September 
10, 1547. Much renown his victory gave the English arms 
yet the campaign must be reckoned a failure, for Queen Mary 
did not fall into English hands; on the contrary, she was well 
guarded by the Catholic party, who took her to France (1548) 
and destroyed the hopes of the duke by betrothing her to 
the dauphin, afterward Francis II. England had only a 
few trophies, some useless prisoners, and a heavy debt to 
show for the blood and treasure spent in the war. 

The Protestant party was unchecked throughout the reign 
of Edward VI. (1547-1553). Somerset was its natural 
leader and Cranmer his willing assistant in all matters of 
Church reform. In Henry's time the archbishop, though in- 
clining toward the new doctrines, had allowed himself to be 
governed by the king's will, and had not permitted his 
Protestantism to injure him in the king's favor. He had 
married a wife in Germany, taking example by the Lutheran 
priests, but at sight of the whip of six strings he igno- 
miniously deserted her. Yet Protestant he was by sympathy 
and belief, and the accession of Edward, relieving him of his 

180 An Outline History of England. 

fears, left him free to bring the English Church into con- 
formity with the reformed doctrines. Other bishops — the 
learned Ridley of London, the eloquent Latimer of Worces- 
ter — and such theologians as Bncer and Peter Martyr, aided 
Cranmer by their labors. The historian Hallam sums up in 
six paragraphs the innovations which were forced upon the 
English Church in the reign of Edward VI. 

1. English supplanted Latin as the language of the serv- 
ice. Prayer, homily, and hymn were henceforth in a speech 
understood of the people. From the Romish missal and 
breviary, with such excisions and additions as the revised 
creed required, Cranmer translated the first Book of 
Common Prayer (1548), the prayer-book (with slight re- 
visions) of the English Church to-day. 

2. Statues, paintings, windows, and altars which were 
connected with the churches, and which the ignorant popu- 
lace had regarded with a veneration which approached 
idolatry, were now destroyed, and ceremonials, such as the 
use of incense, tapers, and holy water, were abrogated. 

3. The adoration of the saints and the Virgin Mary was 
forbidden, the doctrine of purgatory was denied, and prayers 
for the souls of the dead were given up. 

4. Auricular confession was made optional. Henceforth 
the believer might or might not confess his sins in the ear of 
the priest and receive absolution. This liberty soon put an 
end to the use of the confessional in England. 

5. The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation was 
abandoned, and " the doctrine of the real presence of the 
body and blood in the bread and wine of the communion- 
table was explicitly denied." 

6. Lastly, priests were allowed to marry. 

By the repeal of the six articles the whip of six strings 
Avas broken. The harsh laws against Lollardy were erased 
from the statute books, for the leaders of the Church now 
held the beliefs for whi.h Wiclif's followers had been 

The Later Tudors. 181 

persecuted. Forty-two articles of religion were set forth 
in 1552 by Cranmer, embodying the principles of the Refor- 
mation. The omission of three has left them the thirty-nine 
articles which still contain the Anglican creed. 

These changes were forced down into the Church from 
the top. A few statesmen and prelates, the merchants of 
London and the large towns of the east, the scholars of the 
universities, were heartily in favor of the reform, but there 
was no such feeling among the peasantry. They wanted 
back their old priests, the mysterious ceremonies, Latin 
chants, and wonder-working relics which had been the 
attractive part of their religion. With the destruction of 
the monasteries, now followed by the suppression of several 
hundred chantries and colleges, hard times had dawned for 
the peasants. The new land owners living in London were 
more exacting than the monkish landlords. 

Moreover a new industry was supplanting the husbandry 
which had employed the peasant farmers. The value of En- 
glish wool, rising steadily with the growth of cloth manufact- 
ure in Flanders, turned the English plow-land into sheep 
farms. Many tenants were evicted from their small holdings 
to make room for these pastures, and much land which had 
lain common was seized by the manor lords and inclosed for 
private use. Wages dropped as the price of food mounted 

It was natural for the ignorant to believe — as their priests 
doubtless told them — that these miseries were caused by the 
new religion. This they did believe, and became riotous in 
their demonstration against their " heretical " rulers. In Nor- 
folk a tanner, Robert Ket, led a formidable insurrection 
against the landlords, whose sheep-ranges had crow r ded 
honest industry out of existence. It was not the duke of 
Somerset who crus'hed Ket's revolt. The Catholics — a quiet 
but numerous party in the council — had always opposed him, 
and when the Norfolk revolt broke out his enemies combined 

182 An Outline History of England. 

to give the chief command to their colleague, John Dudley, 
Earl of Warwick, son of that magistrate Dudley who had 
perished with Empson in the first months of Henry VIII. 
Warwick's energetic campaign against the rebels strength- 
ened him with the council, which on his return deposed Som- 
erset for misgovernment and gave the protectorate into the 
hands of Duley now (1550) duke of Northumberland. 

The king himself remained in the background while his 
protectors and archbishops were revolutionizing the Church. 
Though a mere boy, and consumptive, Edward was wonder- 
fully precocious. Books and study, especially the ponderous 
theological works with which the age abounded, gave him 
strange delight. He loved to listen to the sermons of the 
sharp-tongued Latimer, and in what way he could he was 
zealous to bring in the Reformation. By his order eighteen 
grammar schools were founded in English towns, and the 
old house of the Grey Friars in London was given up to 
Christ's Hospital for the famous school of the Bluecoat boys. 
It is useless to speculate to what lengths Edward's Prot- 
estantism would have carried him had he been spared for 
long life. At the age of sixteen his frail constitution yielded 
to his disease. On July 6, 1553, he died, leaving no issue. 

Foreseeing the king's untimely end, Northumberland had 
formed a plan for the succession. By the terms of Henry's 
settlement, the Princess Mary — thorough Catholic and papist 
though she was — stood next after Edward. This daughter of 
Catharine had refused to accept the new tenets and practices, 
and had clung to the religion of her father with true Tudor 
obstinacy. The Protestants recognized that she, if queen, 
would show them no favor. More concessions might be ex- 
pected from the Princess Elizabeth, but Northumberland had 
a private advantage to serve. By his advice Edward changed 
the order of succession. Both princesses were set aside as 
illegitimate, and the crown was assigned to the descendants 
of Henry's sister Mary, Duchess of Suffolk. The heiress thus 

The Later Tudors. 183 

chosen was Lady Jane Grey, a beautiful, intelligent, and 
high-spirited Protestant girl. Lord Guilford Dudley, son of 
Northumberland, had lately married her, and by her acces- 
sion the son of the cunning Protector would doubtless mount 
the throne beside his bride. 

The death of Edward brought these plots to light. Mary 
heard of them and by flight eluded the Protector's grasp, 
and rallied her friends to her support in Norfolk. Lady 
Jane was astounded at the news that she was queen of En- 
gland. Northumberland proclaimed her, and she bore the 
title for ten days (Juno 10-19, 1553). But she had no real 
support save the personal following of her father-in-law. He 
raised an army to disperse the forces which gathered about 
Mary Tudor, but even before a battle his men deserted to 
her and left him almost alone. With tears of disappointment 
on his cheeks he tossed his cap in air at Cambridge, hailing 
J)Iary as his and England's queen. The sovereign entered 
London with acclaims. Lady Jane and her husband were 
placed in the Tower, and Northumberland, guilty of high 
treason by his own admissions, was beheaded. The Catholic 
bishops whom Edward's ministers had deposed were restored 
to their cathedrals. Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer were in 
their turn deposed^ and the two latter cast into prison, Bishop 
Gardiner became chancellor and leader of the council. 

Mary's heart was set upon a complete restoration of the 
papal power in England. She w x as her father's daughter in 
the firmness of her will, but otherwise she was the true child 
of her Spanish mother. Her cousin, the king and emperor 
Charles V., of Spain, who had once promised to marry her, was 
her political mentor. He was now too old to wed, but his 
son, Philip of Spain, was a candidate for Mary's hand. The 
emperor's experience taught him the temper of the English 
people and he counseled his zealous cousin to proceed with 
moderation. Much as the country-folk of England might 
long for the old religion the towns-folk were attached to the 

184 Ax Outline History of England. 

new, and the landed proprietors who had been enriched by 
the spoil of the abbeys would resist any thing looking toward 
resumption of Church property. 

The counter-revolution was therefore cautiously begun. 
The first backward step was the restoration of the religious 
system to its condition at the death of Henry VIII. The 
anti-Lollard legislation was revived; the six-stringed whip 
became for the second time the test of orthodoxy. Masses 
were said in the churches and Cranmer's prayer-book gave 
way to the Latin missals and breviaries. Priests who had 
married were hooted out of their parishes and efforts were 
made to rehabilitate the saints and Virgin in the popular re- 
gard. In general this reaction took place quietly; in some 
quarters it was hailed with delight, for the populace had not 
kept pace with the bishops, and the orders to believe this 
doctrine and deny that dogma had fallen upon uncompre- 
hending ears. So far the queen was satisfied with the prog- 
ress of her reign; the wise emperor counseled her against 
forcing her people to accept the pope's supremacy again or 
to give back the lands and revenues which they derived 
from the distribution of the property of the Church. As long 
as she was content with this moderation Mary retained a 
measure of popularity. It was the project of the " Spanish 
marriage " which first turned her subjects from her. 

The emperor urged the queen to fortify her position by 
marrying his son Philip, heir to his possessions in Spain, 
Italy, and the Low Countries. Philip was a Catholic of the 
bigoted strijje, and Mary's union with him would insure the 
supremacy, of the pope in England, and might eventually 
found a Catholic league, which should overpower the Prot- 
estant princes of Germany, and heal by force the schi-m 
in Christendom. All English Protestants who lived in 
the hope of better times ahead, all English patriots who 
dreaded the interference of foreign pope or king in England's 
government, all selfish lords and commons whose share 

The Later Tudoes. 185 

in the Church lands bound them to uphold the system of 
King Henry VIII., were united against the proposed 

There were isolated risings against the marriage in the 
western counties, and in Kent fifteen thousand men gathered 
under Sir Thomas "Wyatt and swooped down on London. 
The qneen had few troops, but she had the dauntless blood 
of a Tudor, and her personal courage called twenty thou- 
sand Londoners to her defense. " Stand fast against these 
rebels," she cried in her harsh, man's voice. " Fear them not, 
for I assure you I fear them nothing at all." Wyatt was 
captured and beheaded. There had been talk of putting 
Lady Jane Grey in Mary's place ; her execution, with that 
of Lord Dudley, her husband, dispelled such treasonable 
rumors. Some of the rebels had cheered for the Princess 
Elizabeth and Edward Courtenay, and Mary thought best 
to lodge them in the Tower. The emperor thought the 
scaffold a fitter place for them, but Mary's English advisers 
dared not tempt English loyalty too far, and after a time 
Courtenay went abroad, and Elizabeth, in the seclusion of 
Chaucer's Woodstock, studied with Roger Ascham, and 
romped with the country squires. 

The suppression of the rebellion gave the queen confi- 
dence to go forward. Parliament consented to the marriage, 
and in midsummer of 1554, Philip of Spain married his En- 
glish bride at Winchester. But .the council, though impo- 
tent to prevent the union, had influence enough to rob it of 
its most threatening consequences. The Spaniard was called 
by courtesy King of England, but the jealous parliament 
never crowned him, and denied his right to the throne in 
case the queen should die childless. 

Mary's policy unfolded rapidly. To restore the realm 
again to the bosom of " Mother Church " was her cherished 
aim, and this she was able to accomplish. Parliament re- 
versed the sentence of treason which Cromwell had obtained 

186 An Outline History of England. 

against Cardinal Pole, the English nobleman whom the pope 
had now named as his legate in England. This was fol- 
lowed by a formal declaration in favor of reunion with 
Rome. Queen Mary, Philip, and the lords and commons 
of England went down on their knees in the presence of 
the legate on the day of St. Andrew, November 30, 1554, 
and, humbly confessing their sin of schism and rebellion, 
received the Church's absolution and the blessing of the 
pope. Save for the dismantled abbeys, whose lands were 
not restored, the English Church now stood where it had 
been before Luther dreamed of "justification by faith," or 
Henry Tudor cast off the pope's authority that he might 
wed the lady of his love. 

The history of the latter half of Mary's reign is a sad tale, 
in which the queen is not the least pitiable figure. In ac- 
cordance with her will to serve the pope she undertook to 
eradicate the Protestant stain from her fair land. The sur- 
viving leaders of the Reformation in the reigns of Henry 
VIII. and Edward VI. paid dearly for their acts. Bishops 
Hooper and Ferrar were condemned for heresy and burned. 
John Rogers, who had helped Tyndale translate the Script- 
ures, died exulting in the flames. Rowland Taylor, vicar of 
Iladleigh, pious and beloved, was a lamented victim. The 
learning of Bishop Ridley and the wit of Latimer availed 
them not. The two perished in one fire, in Oxford, Octo- 
ber 16, 1555. The gray-haired Cranmer had double claims 
to hatred, for he not only stood first among the reforming 
clergy, but it was his decree which divorced Henry VIII., 
and by that degradation broke the heart of Queen Mary's 
mother, Catharine. The archbishop, right at heart, perhaps, 
but sadly deficient in manly resolution, renounced his faith 
to save his life. But Mary was relentless. Six times the 
wavering Cranmer avowed and disavowed his heresy, but 
when they bound him to the stake his spirit grew stronger, 
and thrusting forth his right hand he held it steadily in 

The Later Tudors. 187 

the hottest flame, exclaiming, " This hand wrote the recan- 
tation, and it shall be the first to suffer punishment." 

These names were not alone among the English martyrs. 
Smithfield fires burned often in 1556 and 1557, and in other 
market-places throughout the kingdom men and women 
gathered to see how the heretics would die. They died with 
honor, and their heroism did more than pamphlet and preacher 
to spread the faith for which they suffered. " Play the 
man, Master Ridley," the dying Latimer had been heard to 
cry to his fellow among the fagots. " We shall this day 
light such a candle by God's grace in England, as I trust 
shall never be put out." And so they did, these martyr bishops 
and the two hundred men and women of lesser station, whose 
execution fixed upon the persecuting Bishop Bonner and the 
queen the horrid title " Bloody." Protestantism grew with 
each new act of repression, and the miserable queen saw 
the failure of the terrible policy by which she had hoped to 
purify her people. 

The queen's husband, Philip, whom she loved almost fierce- 
ly, cared nothing for her, and on receiving his European in- 
heritance from his father (1556) had quitted England, where 
he was thoroughly detested. Mary's most fervent prayer 
had been that she might bear a son who should maintain the 
Catholic cause; she was childless and hopelessly diseased. 
The pope, whom she wished heartily to serve, would not be 
pacified without money and the restoration of the Church 
lands. The portion that remained in the possession of the 
crown she did restore, but to reclaim from her powerful sub- 
jects their lands would have been to stir up a rebellion in 
which all that she had gained for Rome would be swept 
away forever. Gardiner, her best adviser, was dead, and 
Cardinal Pole, his successor, was deemed a heretic by Pope 
Paul IV. and stripped of his churchly honors. 

Philip yielded once to his wife's desire for his return. 
His stay was brief, and only added misfortunes. She prom- 

188 An Outline History of England. 

ised aid for his French campaigns, and sent the earl of Pem- 
broke over with 10,000 men, who assisted in the capture of 
the town of St. Quentin. But the English were too weak to 
defend even their own. Calais, the last remnant of the En- 
glish empire on the Continent, was taken by the French in 
January, 1558. "It was the chiefest jewel of the realm," 
said Mary. But wretched administration at home had left 
her without means to undertake its recapture. Its loss was 
not a serious blow to England, but it shamed the queen to 
lose territory which had been English for so many years. 
"When I die you will find Calais written on my heart," 
was one of the pitiful outbursts of the closing months of 
her life. Her body spent with sickness, her spirit bruised by 
her terrible disappointments, with scarcely a friend in the 
world, poor Queen Mary died November 17, 1558. 

Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII. and Anne 
Boleyn, immediately succeeded her half-sister Mary. From 
1558 until 1603 she was queen of England. Woman as she 
was she was no puppet-queen; she chose her ministers with 
remarkable sagacity, and with no less wisdom she took part 
in their councils, and gave her opinion upon Aveighty matters 
of State. In her father's time her vigorous health and brill- 
iant mind had made her, though but a girl, a favorite at 
court. During the reigns of Edward VI. and Mary she had 
held aloof from religious and political controversies, devoting 
herself with unusual energy to serious study of ancient and 
modern languages and to archery, horsemanship, and the 
chase — the sports of young men of her own age. 

This busy student of Greek was likewise a woman of the 
world ; fond of the pomp of courts, coveting finery, having 
gowns by the hundred in her wardrobe, and with all her per- 
sonal vanity craving the flattery of her courtiers. She had the* 
stature and shoulders of her burly father, the voice of a man, 
and a coarse manner of speech which was not then deemed 
so unladylike as it would be now. She never married, and 

The Later Tudors. 189 

though her favorites were many, and she took small pains to 
conceal her fondness for them, her adoring people called her 
"the virgin queen." Elizabeth's character was peculiarly 
adapted for the situation which confronted her when she as- 
cended the throne, and which faced her during the first thirty 
years of her reign. She was a hard, cold, intellectual woman, 
devoid of strong attachments and prejudices, shrewd of dis- 
cernment, and full of tact in devising and applying policies. 
It would seem impossible for an English monarch of any other 
stamp to have piloted the kingdom through the perils which 
beset it at Queen Mary's death. 

Elizabeth was accepted as queen without openly expressed 
dissent in any quarter of her realm. But this circumstance 
gave no augury for the future. Although there was no En- 
glish rival for the crown, the outlook, both in England and 
on the Continent, boded a stormy reign. Mary's popish policy, 
with the bitter persecutions into which it had carried her, 
had not exterminated Protestantism, but it had aroused a 
lively hatred between the partisans of the old and the re- 
formed religion. 

The new queen could not readily join either religious party 
without giving offense. Under her Protestant brother, Ed- 
ward, Elizabeth had accepted the forty-two articles of Cran- 
mer, and at Mary's accession she had with as little difficulty 
conformed to the Catholic service. For herself she had no 
vital sympathy with either, and it was her aim to continue 
the moderate system which her father had established. On 
one point, however, her mind was made up: the Church of 
England, Catholic or Protestant, must be united. Circum- 
stances which the imperious queen vainly tried to control 
forced her more and more to the side of the reformers, and 
she was obliged to make changes in her father's creed ; and 
the most tyrannical measures of her reign were those by 
which she strove to force the reformed doctrines and usages 
upon her reluctant subjects. 

190 Ax Outline History of England. 

The key-note of Elizabeth's purpose was struck by the re- 
peal of the laws which had established the Catholic religion 
and lighted the fires of persecution. The Church's independ- 
ence of the pope was re-asserted, and all priests were ordered to 
conform to the new rules. The prayer-book of King Edward 
and Cranmer was revised and made the common book of de- 
votion. Parker, a man of her own conservative views, was 
made Archbishop of Canterbury. Under his direction relig- 
ious matters settled themselves peacefully, or would have 
done so had it not been for the religious condition of Europe. 

Philip II. of Spain, whose marriage with Mary had thrown 
England into a paroxysm of fear, had inherited the possessions 
of his father, Charles V., and become the strongest monarch 
of his time. He was king of Spain, and afterward of Portu- 
gal, of Italy and the Netherlands, and the precious metals 
and rich merchandise of India, Africa, and America supplied 
his treasury. On sea and land the Spanish forces were the 
most formidable in Europe, and a succession of able generals 
directed their movements. The king, who exercised absolute 
power over this vast realm, was a bigoted Romanist, the chosen 
champion of papistry. The Church was reviving from the 
shock of the Lutheran attack. The limits of Protestant ter- 
ritory were now pretty well defined, and they have scarcely 
been altered since. Northern Germany, the Scandinavian 
countries, Holland, and to a certain degree England and 
Scotland, no longer looked to the pope for guidance. There 
had been Protestants in Italy, but Philip's hand was there 
upheld by the Inquisition, and the " heresy " vanished before 

A new fervor inspired the priests and princes of Catholi- 
cism. The " Society of Jesus," better known as " Jesuits," 
founded by Loyola, devoted itself with a complete consecra- 
tion, unmatched since the early days of the Church,' to the 
task of redeeming the world from heresy. In the Spanish 
Netherlands the iconoclasm of the Protestants, followers of 

The Later Tudors. 191 

John Calvin of Geneva, went to such extremes that Philip 
was obliged to send an army against them. France, which 
ranked next to Spain among Catholic lands, was weakened 
by the incompetence of its king, and by the religious wars 
upon the French Protestants, or Huguenots, as they were 
called. The Catholics of Scotland, few in numbers but ably 
led, could count upon the support of France, at whose court 
their queen, Mary Stuart, had lived from her infancy. 

The circumstances above narrated determined Elizabeth's 
course. She could not be a Catholic, for no English Catholic 
would recognize her, Anne Boleyn's daughter, as the lawful 
successor of Mary Tudor. Philip offered her his hand in 
the hope of impressing England into the troop of Catholic 
countries which he had united to the Spanish crown. She 
put him oft* for a year, and then denied him — her people had 
had enough of Spanish marriages. Then he sought a po- 
litical alliance with her until he might take by force what 
he might not win by favor. But France feared his am- 
bition, and France, too, sought an alliance with the queen. 
Catherine de Medici, the queen-mother, offered her first one 
prince and then another (Anjou and Alencon) in marriage, 
but Elizabeth, after puzzling coquetry, rejected both, for a 
league with Catholic France was almost as threatening to 
the peace of England as would have been a connection with 

Still another arrangement was possible. William Cecil, 
Lord Burleigh, Elizabeth's secretary of state and most trusted 
adviser, favored an open war. He wanted England to rally 
all the Protestant states and factions, and as their champion 
take up the gauntlet that Philip had thrown down. But the 
frugal queen startled the council with the rough cry, " No 
war, no war! my Lords! " She preferred diplomacy and 
cunning. Through the confusion of the time the queen's 
eye saw England's need of peace, and she determined to post- 
pone as long as possible the inevitable war. Meanwhile, she 

192 An Outline History of England. 

stealthily sent aid to the Presbyterian lords of Scotland, who 
were struggling against a French regency, shrewdly hindered 
Philip in his war against the Dutch, and afforded scanty sus- 
tenance to the Huguenots. So long as she could keep the 
Catholics of Spain, France, and Scotland from joining hands 
against her, she was safe, but the task demanded all her 
ingenuity. Of all her perils that from the north was the 
most menacing. 

Mary Stuart was the grandchild of Margaret, the elder 
sister of Henry VIII., who had married James IV., King of 
Scotland. Henry had striven to unite his son Prince Ed- 
ward with the baby-queen, but neither he nor Somerset, who 
succeeded to his policy, could compel the Scots to carry out 
the marriage treaty. Mary's mother was a French princess, 
and the vigorous French party in Scotland took the little girl 
to Paris and educated her at the French court. She married 
a prince, who held the scepter for a single year (1559-1560), 
as King Francis II. of France. Mary was a sincere Catholic, 
and she was in the control of Catholics who laughed at 
Elizabeth Tudor's title to the English crown. They argued 
that the divorce from Catherine and the Boleyn marriage 
were alike unlawful, and that Mary Stuart, and not Eliza- 
abeth Tudor, was the rightful heir. The French courtiers 
addressed Mary as " Queen of England." 

At the death of Francis his beautiful widow, then in her 
twentieth year, quitted France to cast her fortunes with her 
Scottish countrymen (1561). At her coming a new crop 
of perils sprang up about Elizabeth. The personal charm of 
Mary — a wonderful mingling of beauty, courage, and intel- 
lect — united the factious Scots in her support. They be- 
lieved her promise to allow both forms of worship, and they 
stood by her in her demand for recognition as the successor 
of the unwedded Elizabeth. The English queen dared not 
admit the claim, for the prospect of another "Mary the 
Catholic " would have endangered her own safety. Neither 

The Later Tudors. 193 

dared she select any successor, nor give hopes of a succession 
by marrying one of her many suitors. For England's sake 
she must remain unmarried and let her hand be used as a 
king-piece in the deep game of statecraft which she played. 

Mary Stuart's presence in Scotland, looking south, brought 
trouble for the English Catholics, who had hitherto suffered 
little for their religion. A number of bishops and a few 
score of parish priests had left their cathedrals and churches, 
rather than adopt the book of common prayer and the other 
adjuncts of the reformed service, but most of the clergy had 
accepted the changes without demur. In 1562, however, 
when Mary's plans seemed to augur success, and the Catholic 
prospects brightened, the pope lent his aid to increase Eliza- 
beth's perplexities. Unwilling as yet to pronounce her sen- 
tence of excommunication and deposition, he tried gentler 
means. He forbade Catholics to attend any church in which 
the prayer-book was used (1562). Parliament first fined 
all who refused to attend, and in 1563 passed the "Test Act," 
which compelled all persons holding office in Church or State 
to swear to obey the queen rather than the pope. At the 
same time the forty-two articles of Cranmer's creed were 
cut down to the "thirty-nine articles," which, with slight 
revision, still remain the English standard of belief. Thus 
Elizabeth had been forced from the ground on which her 
father stood to the advanced position of Edward. 

Mary Stuart caught a new inspiration from the news of 
Catholic oppression in England. She had not asserted her 
own religion in Scotland, but she now gained strength w^ith 
English papists by marrying her cousin Henry Stuart, Lord 
Darnley, who, next to Mary herself, was the presumptive 
heir of Elizabeth. The fruit of their union was the boy 
James Stuart, who eventually united on his own head the 
crowns of the two kingdoms. His birth brought fresh 
anxieties to Elizabeth, while it doubled the courage of 
the Catholics. 

194 An Outline History of England. 

But Mary proceeded toward her aim with suicidal 
recklessness. Her husband, Darnley, a vile fellow at best, 
had won her loathing by murdering, in her own palace, one 
David Rizzio, an Italian, in whom she trusted much. Before 
the next year closed the house in which her husband slept 
was blown to pieces with gunpowder, and Darnley's body 
was found near the ruins. " Black " Bothwell, for whom she 
had a guilty love, was accused of the murder, and many be- 
lieved that Mary was not innocent. Bothwell's trial was a 
farce, and his marriage with the queen, which followed close- 
ly upon his acquittal, ended their career in Scotland. A na- 
tional uprising drove Bothwell from the kingdom. Mary 
was deposed and imprisoned at Lochleven, and her babe was 
crowned as James VI. of Scotland, with her half-brother, 
James Douglas, the Protestant earl of Murray, regent. 
After a few months she fled from her captors, and would 
have renewed the struggle, but was outwitted by Murray's 
vigilance. By an act which proved her genius she turned, 
and entered England (May, 1568), not with an army, but 
as a queen in distress, seeking to be restored to her Scottish 

What to do with the Queen of Scots was the question 
which puzzled the English government for nineteen years to 
come. The regent Murray was gladly rid of her, and re- 
fused to take her back unless she would submit to trial for 
murder and adultery. This she declined to do, and England 
could not force a Catholic sovereign upon a country so 
thoroughly Protestant as Scotland had become under the 
fierce preaching of John Knox and the Calvinists. Mary 
next demanded safe conduct to the Continent. But from 
France or Spain she would have plotted with advantage 
against England. At that very moment the duke of Alva, 
a general of Philip of Spain, was massacring the Protestants 
of the Low Countries with a merciless zeal which has left 
his deeds the standard with which such acts of horror are 

The Later Tudors. 195 

compared. His presence gave hope to the English Catholics, 
menaced the Huguenots, and challenged English Protestants 
to succor their suffering brothers in the faith. Elizabeth 
could do nothing with safety, and she did nothing whatever. 
She would not give up Mary for Scottish trial, nor try her in 
England, nor conduct her into France, nor set her on her 
throne, nor admit her right, or that of her son, to succeed to 
the throne of England. She shut her up in Bolton castle 
and held her a prisoner. 

Conspiracies soon came to light among the Catholic nobles 
of England, who found the royal captive a personal center for 
their plots. The pope launched his most terrible weapon, the 
Bull of Deposition (1569), absolving Elizabeth's subjects from 
their obedience. In 1570 the duke of Norfolk, who had 
previously proposed marriage with the Queen of Scots as 
the prelude to a papist rising, became involved in a new 
plot: Philip II. was to send 10,000 men of Alva's army to 
aid in putting Mary in Elizabeth's seat. This conspiracy, 
known from the name of its agent as " Ridolfi's Plot," was 
discovered by Lord Burleigh's detectives. Its English 
accomplices were arrested, and Norfolk was beheaded (June, 

As the excommunication inspired Elizabeth's enemies, 
it aroused her also to more stringent measures against all 
persons refusing to worship in the legal manner. These 
recusants were of two classes. Besides the Romanists, who 
objected to the reforms in the service, there were the Puri- 
tans, who complained that the reform stopped too soon. They 
accepted the teachings of John Calvin and the extreme 
Protestants and were dissatisfied because the English Church 
retained the rule of bishops, the surplice for the priests, and 
relics of the Roman ritual. These people did not wish to 
withdraw from the communion, but they were clamorously 
in favor of purifying the Church of which they remained a 
part. For their efforts in this direction they got the derisive 

196 An Outline History of England. 

nickname "Puritans." Puritans and Catholics were alike 
excluded from Elizabeth's scheme of uniformity, and the 
Court of High Commission, which she created in 1583 to try 
ecclesiastical causes, soon had its docket crowded. 

Punishment by fines and imprisonment failed to check 
Puritanism. Toward the close of the reign it advanced a 
stage farther, and the extreme Puritans stayed away from 
church altogether, worshiping by themselves out of doors, 
and in dwellings, barns or warehouses. They were called 
Separatists and Independents, and some of these sects gained 
peculiar names or denominations, as the "Brownists," who fol- 
lowed the Congregational teachings of one Robert Brown. 

While the rise of new sects showed activity in one 
school of religious thought, the work of the Jesuits in En- 
gland exhibited the zeal of the opposing party. The Catholic 
leaders perceived that their religion must eventually lose its 
hold upon the mind and heart of the common people, for the 
old priests were with few exceptions conforming to the re- 
formed order or being displaced by Anglican clergymen. 
The universities had come so thoroughly under Protestant 
influence that they no longer recruited the priesthood. Ac- 
cordingly zealous English Catholics founded a school at 
Douay on the continent — another was soon planted at Rome 
— for the training of Englishmen to preach the Catholic re- 
ligion in the island. These "seminary priests" were men of 
unusual, even fanatical, enthusiasm for the work to which 
they devoted their lives. 

It was declared treasonable to land or shelter the new 
teachers. Parsons and Campian were the first Jesuits to 
brave the law (1580). They traveled in disguise, preached 
in secret, and did effectively reclaim Catholics of high and 
low degree who would otherwise have drifted into con- 
formity. The strict enforcement of the laws against them 
deterred them no more than Mary's burnings had dismayed 
the Protestants. Campian died a traitor's death, and several 

The Later Tudors. 197 

hundred priests and teachers suffered a like fate, and were 
revered as martyrs, even as their persecutors reverenced 
Latimer and Ridley and the other stout-hearted victims of 
Smithfield and Oxford lires. 

After the death of Norfolk Elizabeth had respite for a 
brief time. Her cousin Mary remained in custody, still proud 
and hopeful, renouncing none of her claims, and still the hope 
of all Catholics who yearned for the liberation of England. 
Strange news came from the Continent. A dozen dangerous 
years had passed and Elizabeth had until now staved off the 
necessity of answering that hard question of a royal mar- 
riage. Neither France nor Spain could yet free its hands 
from home affairs long enough to deal out to England the 
chastisement which the pope had ordered. France, after a 
long struggle with her Huguenots, had given them peace, 
and raised Coligny, their hero, to a hii^h place in the gov- 
ernment. In 1562 the massacre of St. Bartholomew's day 
had renewed the war, by the slaughter of from 25,000 to 
100,000 French Protestants. In the Netherlands Alva had 
made the land sweat blood and gold until, in 1572, the Dutch 
of both religions under William of Orange ("the Silent") 
united to gain their independence. Thus both France and 
Spain were plunged into new wars, while England throve in 
consequence of the turmoil abroad. 

As the nation grew in wealth and in unity it was swept 
by new enthusiasms. The cheap books which had followed 
the invention of printing, the resultant mental awakening, 
the penetrating force of the Reformation which stirred all 
men to their depths, all these were bearing fruit in a gen- 
eration of brilliant Englishmen. Great exploits were re- 
warded at Elizabeth's court, and among her courtiers were 
many doers of great deeds. Although there was no open war 
with Spain there was the bitterest hatred and the overhang- 
ing certainty that, once freed from its entanglements in Hol- 
land, the whole force of the Spanish monarchy would descend 

198 An Outline History of England. 

upon the Protestant island. This was enough for the young 
Englishmen, who could not sit quietly at their school-books 
while the " sea beggars " of Holland were harassing the 
Spanish galleons. Philip's possessions in America were so 
wealthy and so vast that they formed a rich and defenseless 
prey for English buccaneers. They plundered the cities of 
the SpanisTi main, captured the treasure-ships, darted into 
Spanish harbors and cut out rich prizes under the guns of 
frowning forts. Sir Francis Drake, one of the boldest of 
these lawless sailors, had faced worse perils than Philip's 
gibbet. His was the first English ship in the Pacific Ocean, 
and his little vessel was the first to make the long voyage 
around the world. Men of like daring were Davis and 
Frobisher, who explored the icy channels of America in vain 
quest for a " north-west passage " to India. John Hawkins, 
slave-trader, was another, and one of the queen's favorites. 

The depredations of men like Drake hastened the out- 
break of war with Spain. The queen accepted the inevit- 
able. The Netherlander were fainting in their struggle 
against the strongest State in Europe. William, their hero, 
was dead — killed by an assassin (1584), and France and 
Philip had formed the "League" (1585), to keep the 
Huguenot, Henry of Navarre, from the French throne, and 
to put an end to Dutch Protestantism. The union of the 
two Catholic countries terminated England's neutrality. 

However reluctant to risk the fortunes of war, the 
instinct of self-preservation, which had maintained a nominal 
peace for nearly thirty years, now prompted the queen to 
vigorous action. Two kingdoms would turn upon England 
the moment their bloody work in Holland was completed. 
Before the end of the year 6,000 English troops landed in 
the Low Countries under command of Robert Dudley, 
earl of Leicester, the handsome but worthless courtier to 
whom Elizabeth showed favor. But the gay man of courts 
fared ill against Philip's general, Alexander, Duke of Parma. 

The Later Tudors. 199 

Town after town was taken by the Spaniards, and after the 
defeat of Zutphen, Leicester came home in disgrace. On 
the field of Zutphen fell that pure and courteous knight, Sir 
Philip Sidney. 

Every east wind which brought ships across the channel 
bore tidings of danger to Elizabeth. Her succors had 
not helped the Hollanders; Henry of Navarre, to whom she 
paid a begrudged subsidy, could scarcely hold his own against 
the League; and there was rumor, and unmistakable evi- 
dence, too, of new conspiracies among the Catholic refugees 
upon the Continent. Sir Francis Walsingham, the queen's 
secretary, scrutinized this news searchingly; his spies were 
every where, and little escaped his vision. There were con- 
spiracies and conspiracies, but the center of each, willingly 
or unwillingly, was the royal prisoner, Mary Stuart. 

In 1556 the threads of a Catholic plot, of which one 
Anthony Babington held the English end, were found and 
followed up. Yet Walsingham gave no sign until the evi- 
dence of Mary's guilt was complete. Babington was appre- 
hended and executed; but Elizabeth hesitated to do violence 
to her Scottish prisoner. Due regard for her own safety left 
no alternative. A special court tried, condemned, and sen- 
tenced the Queen of Scots for treasonable connection with 
Babington's plot " for the hurt, death, and destruction of 
the royal person." Even then, although she had signed the 
death warrant, Elizabeth would not order its execution, 
leaving that duty to her secretary. On February 8, 1587, 
Mary Stuart was beheaded in the court of Fotheringay 
castle, bequeathing to Philip of Spain her enmity to Eliza- 
beth and her claims to the English crown. 

Philip was ready to move. For months his fleets had been 
building and assembling for the conquest of England and 
the Netherlands. Drake, plunging into Cadiz (1587), put 
back the preparations, and, as the rough sailor said, " gave the 
Spanish king's beard a singe." But in 1588 the League had 

200 An Outline History of England. 

won a notable triumph over the Huguenots, and the duke of 
Parma had arranged matters in the Spanish Netherlands so 
that he, with 17,000 men, could be spared for heavy work in 
England. In May, 1588, "the most fortunate and invin- 
cible Armada " — so the Spaniards named their fleet — set sail 
on its double errand of invasion and conversion. The pope 
gave his blessing to the expedition as heaven's chosen instru- 
ment for the chastisement and redemption of the apostate 
realm. The duke of Medina-Sidonia commanded the ar- 
mament, which was thus made up: " 132 ships, manned by 
8,766 sailors and 2,088 galley-slaves, and carrying 21,555 
soldiers, as well as 300 monks and inquisitors." 

The navy of England numbered 34 vessels, most of them 
light and lightly armed. But volunteers, who had proved 
their ability in storm and sea-fight, soon swelled the fleet of 
the admiral, Lord Howard, to more than twice that number. 
With him were Drake, Frobisher, Hawkins, and other hearts 
of oak, who were not unused to meeting Spaniards on the 
high seas. These gathered in Plymouth Sound to await the 
cautious enemy. At Tilbury fort the English volunteers, 
Catholic and Protestant and Puritan, mustered in throng- 
ing companies, and flung their caps in the air when Elizabeth 
Tudor rode among them, and with a few queenly words 
exhorted them to resist the foreigner : "Inra come among 
you, resolved in the midst and heat of battle to live or die 
among you all. I know that I have the body but of a weak 
and feeble woman, but I have the heart of a king, and of a 
king of England too ! " 

On Friday, July 19, the Armada was sighted off the Lizard, 
and on Saturday Howard went out, not to meet but to follow 
the foe. Until July 27 the Englishmen hung upon the flanks 
and rear of the great crescent-shaped Spanish fleet, attacking 
straggling or disabled vessels and maneuvering for delay. 
On the 28th, at midnight, eight English fire ships bore down 
upon the Spanish vessels crowded in Calais roads. In the con- 

The Later Tudors. 201 

fusion which ensued Lord Howard gave battle. All day Mon- 
day, the 29th, the English, reinforced by new arrivals, fought 
for their queen, their country, their religion. When their 
powder was almost gone the " invincible Armada " gave up 
the battle and steered northward with a fair south wind. 

Howard gave chase for several days; a great storm com- 
pleted the destruction. The coasts of Norway, Scotland, 
and Ireland were strewn with wreckage, for the Spaniards, 
cut off from retreat through Dover Strait*, made the home- 
ward voyage around Great Britain. In October Philip's 
shattered fleet dropped anchor in the harbors whence it had 
sailed in pomp five months before. Fourscore vessels and 
20,000 men who sailed with the armada never came 
back. "I sent them forth," said the phlegmatic king, 
"against man, not against the ocean," and he thanked God 
for the power to send a larger armament. England returned 
heart-felt thanks to God for her deliverance. 

Philip's attacks on England were ended. His far-reaching 
plans remained unfulfilled. England now struck back at 
Spain. In 1589 Norris and Drake descended upon Corunna 
with a fleet and army; their small success was followed by a 
failure to take the city of Lisbon. With this fleet went 
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, who, but twenty-two years 
old, had succeeded Leicester, lately dead (1588), in the favor 
of the maiden queen. Despite this useless expedition priva- 
teers continued to play havoc with Spanish commerce. 
While Philip's authority upon the seas declined he saw his 
other plans collapse. The popularity and finally the apos- 
tasy of Henry of Navarre to Catholicism gave him the 
crown of France as Henry IV., and shut out Spanish influ- 
ence. The death of the duke of Parma left the Netherlands 
unpacified, and so they continued until 1607, when their 
freedom was acknowledged. Philip himself was then nine 
years dead. He had died in 1598, at the age of seventy-one. 

The dispersion of the Armadi lifted a cloud that had 

202 An Outline History of England. 

hung over England for a quarter of a century. The undis- 
puted power of Spain was broken. Protestant England took 
her place among the leading nations of the world. The 
sagacity, the patience, the diplomacy, and finally the courage, 
of Elizabeth, Burleigh, Bacon, and Walsingham had foiled 
the domestic plots of the Catholics, had postponed and in 
the end repulsed the onslaught of Catholic Spain. Relieved 
of" her fears England sprang forward with an exultant bound. 
Men were eager for opportunities to win renown for their 
country and their queen. Essex, the new favorite, captured 
the Spanish port of Cadiz in the last years of Philip. Raleigh 
pounced upon one of the Azores Islands, and Elizabeth sent 
him to jail for the affront to her pet commander. 

Ireland rose in revolt. This kingdom, long divided and 
chaotic, had found a point of union. The English Parlia- 
ment had established by law the Protestant religion in Ireland. 
The Irish were absolutely opposed to the new faith, and 
the attempt to force it upon them pressed them into a com- 
pact nation. The corrective measures of England failed ut- 
terly. The colonies of Englishmen, who were settled upon 
confiscated lands, formed communities separated from their 
Irish neighbors by a fierce hatred. Spain aided, and the pope 
blessed, every insurrection of the Catholic Irish. Essex, who 
was Elizabeth's choice for every arduous task, was sent to quell 
the revolt of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone. His failure led 
to his disgrace at court, and his audacious attempts to save his 
head aroused the wrath of the aged queen. She approved the 
sentence of treason which was passed upon him, and he was 
executed February 25, 1601. Lord Mount joy, who suc- 
ceeded him in Ireland, firmly but mercilessly crushed the 
rebellion, and established English laws, language, and cus- 
toms at the point of the sword. 

The position of Parliament in Elizabeth's reign is worthy 
of mention. She did not neglect it altogether, as most of her 
Tudor predecessors had done, but it did not often oppose her. 

The Later Tudors. 203 

Her Test Act excluded the Catholic members, who might 
have formed an obstructive force, and the common danger of 
queen and nation, and the prevalent belief that her 
policy was the best for all, doubtless smoothed her path. 
Moreover, her thrift and her love of peace spared her those 
constant appeals for money which always aroused the op- 
position of the people. Yet the national spirit, which grew 
with the successes of Elizabeth, asserted itself in the House 
of Commons. A part of the royal revenues was derived 
from monopolies of salt, wines, and other commodities. By 
patent from the sovereign the sole right to deal in these 
articles was granted to individuals or corporations, con- 
ditioned upon the payment of a " royalty" to the government. 
These taxes became so oppressive that in 1601 the Commons 
indignantly protested, and the queen gracefully yielded to 
them and revoked her patents. 

, Many charters for trade in America and in Asia were 
granted during this reign, and on the last day of the fifteenth 
century an association of London merchants was chartered 
as the East India Company, the corporation which con- 
quered, and for a time controlled, the British Indian Empire. 

In the last years of her life the famous queen became fret- 
ful and nervous; she who had known no fear kept a sword 
continually in her chamber, and at times thrust it through 
the hangings in quest of a concealed assassin. The counselors 
who had stood with her through the perilous passage died 
one by one in the years of triumph. Robert Cecil, son of 
the good Lord Burleigh, became her chief secretary, and he 
it was who told, from the signs which she made on her death- 
bed, that she would have as her successor James VI., King 
of Scotland, the son of her enemy, Mary Stuart. Elizabeth 
Tudor died at Richmond, March 24, 1603, in the seventieth 
year of her age. 

The reign of " Good Queen Bess " is reckoned the golden 
age of England. In the galaxy of great names which shine 

204 Ax Outline History of England. 

upon its records, and amid the glories of its close, one is likely 
to forget the trials, the long-drawn suspense, of its first thirty 
years. Had space allowed this chapter might have been ex- 
tended with the literary history of this Elizabethan period. 
In his dramas Shakespeare exemplified the spirit of his 
time, and he makes his character, John of Gaunt, say of the 
England of Henry V. what every patriot thought of the En- 
gland of Elizabeth : 

" This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle, 
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, 
This other Eden, derai-paradise ; 
This fastness built by nature for hereelf 
Against infection, and the hand of war ; 
This happy breed of men, this little world ; 
This precious stone, set in the silver sea, 
Which serves it in the office of a wall. 
Or as a moat defensive to a house 
Against the envy of less happier lands. 

The Stuart Tyranny. 205 


THE STUART TYRANNY. 1603 A. D.-1649 A. D. 


By the will of Henry VIII. Elizabeth's successor was to be 
taken from the family of his younger sister, the Duchess of 
Suffolk; but at Elizabeth's death the late king's wishes were 
disregarded, and the royal council proclaimed the king of 
Scotland king of England also. 

James I. (James VI. of Scotland) was the only son of Mary 
Stuart and that Lord Darnley whose murder drove her from 
her kingdom. In his earliest childhood James Stuart had 
been titular king of Scots, and for a number of years he had 
been the real ruler of the northern kingdom. His Catholic 
mother had no voice in his education, which was thoroughly 
Protestant. Weak and ungainly physically, idle, and slovenly 
in manner, the king had a mind of considerable keenness. He 
was especially learned in theology — " the wisest fool in Chris- 
tendom," sneered Henry of Navarre — and was inordinately 
proud of his acquirements. A man of such parts — physical 
cowardice was a marked feature of his character, and a Scotch 
brogue marred his speech — cut a sorry figure in the eyes of 
the English people, which had been filled for fourscore years 
with the kingly figures of "bluff king Hal," and "good 
queen Bess." 

The Puritan agitation was the first subject which was 
brought to King James's attention. As he passed southward 
toward London (1603), the "Millenary Petition," signed by 
1,000 Puritan pastors (in reality only 800), was offered to 
him. It urged him to revise the doctrines and rules of the 

20G Ax Outline History of England. 

English Church so as to purify the ecclesiastical system from 
the lingering taint of Romanism. It will be remembered 
that the reformers of Edward VI. 's reign — Cranmer and his 
supporters — were the high officers of the Church, enlightened 
men, who introduced changes more rapidly than the com- 
mon people were ready to receive them. Hence the Catholic 
reaction under Mary had been easy. During the long reign 
of Elizabeth, two generations had lived. The Bible had be- 
come the one household book in thousands of families, and 
its influence had contributed to an enormous growth of the 
Puritans. The situation of Edward's reign was now reversed. 
The bishops, appointed by the crown, were conservative, 
pledged to maintain the established Church, and subject to 
rebuke and sharp discipline if lenient toward the Puritans; 
the people, on the other hand, with many of the lesser clergy, 
were strongly Puritanical, and to King James they came 
with their petition. 

The petitioners had their trouble and something worse for 
their pains. In 1604 the king summoned four Puritans to a 
conference at Hampton Court with eighteen prelates of the 
Church. This famous conference refused the reforms for 
which the petitioners prayed; and the king, after a savage de- 
nunciation of Presbyterian government (a bitter taste of which 
he brought from home), ordered the bishops to compel their 
clergy to conform strictly to the rules of the Church. Star 
Chamber court declared that signers of the great petition were 
guilty of misdemeanor, and ten of them were imprisoned. 
Three hundred Puritan preachers were expelled from their 
livings for failing to obey the rules at which their consciences 
rebelled. The measures against the "Independents" — those 
extreme Puritans who, despairing of reform within the 
Church, had Left it altogether — drove some of them out of the 
country, and one of these little bands of refugees, having so- 
journed a time in Holland, took ship in the 31ayflo>cer in 
1620, to found a new England with "freedom to worship 

The Stuart Tyranny. 207 

God." The translation of the Bible, King James's version, 
was authorized by the Hampton Court conference and pub- 
lished in 1611. 

The first Parliament of the reign assembled in March 1604, 
and its sessions marked the beginning of a new era. The 
dearest dogma of this theorizing monarch was " the divine 
right of the king to rule." He had declared his views upon 
this subject in Scotland, and he lost no opportunity to impress 
them upon his English subjects. He denied that the nation 
was the source of law and of kingly power. His authority, 
he declared, was from heaven, and his prerogative was above 
the law, which he might of his own will alter as the welfare 
of his people required. This was " Divine Right of Kings," 
a novel theory, and one which the nation would not tolerate. 
Its continued re-assertion, and the tyrannies that sprang from 
its practical application, led to a life-long struggle between 
the king and Parliament ; a struggle which the former be- 
queathed to his son and successor, and which ended in the 
execution of King Charles I. and the establishment of the 
English commonwealth. 

A spirit of resolute independence was evident in the first 
Parliament of James. He asked it to sanction a close union 
of England and Scotland, which had now separate govern- 
ments under the same king. This they refused, and the king, 
in turn, slighted their wish to concede the Puritan demands 
for reform. The first session of Parliament closed fruitlessly. 
The session of 1605 narrowdy missed a tragic opening. 

James had promised to relieve the Catholics of the heaviest 
burdens with which Elizabeth's reiem had weighted them, 
but his ear soon caught whispers of Catholic plots against 
him and he broke his promises. Another and a more deadly 
conspiracy was hatched in 1605. Robert Catesby and a few 
desperate papists planned to blow up the Parliament build- 
ings on the day of the joint assembly of the two Houses to 
hear the king's opening speech. The cellar of the building 

208 An Outline History of England. 

was stocked with gunpowder, and all plans were in readi- 
ness to massacre in a moment king, princes, lords, and com- 
mons. Guy Fawkes, an Englishman who had served in the 
Spanish army, had charge of the details of the murderous 
project. November 5 was the day for the king to meet 
the two Houses; but the secret transpired at the last moment. 
On the evening of November 4 Fawkes was arrested among 
his powder kegs; the other conspirators incontinently fled. 
Fawkes and others were executed, and November 5, the day 
of the " Gunpowder Treason," was long celebrated by English 

The question of crown revenues, for which Elizabeth's 
thrift had found ready solution, kept her successor in con- 
tinual trouble. His expensive household, his pensions, and his 
foreign diplomacy used up vast sums. The only lawful way by 
which an English king could raise money was by taxation 
voted by the representatives of the people in Parliament. 
James had found Parliament a two-edged sword, which he 
feared to handle. Without asking its consent he accordingly 
laid a tax, or "imposition," upon currants and tobacco. One 
Bate, an importer of currants, refused to pay, and was tried 
before the Court of Exchequer. The judges gave the startling 
opinion that the king, as regulator of commerce and foreign 
affairs, might lawfully lay and collect such customs duties. 

This angered Parliament. In 1610 James offered to relin- 
quish certain feudal rights of the crown, in return for an 
annual grant of £200,000. But the haggling over this 
* Great Contract" disgusted both parties, and the king dis- 
solved Parliament, hoping to pay his way by means of the 
hated impositions. But the way was hard, and after footing 
it for three years he summoned a second Parliament in 1614. 
The Commons refused to grant a farthing until the king 
should redress their grievances by renouncing the impositions 
and purifying the Church. After the deadlock had lasted a 
month James ordered the Commons to go home, whereupon 

The Stuart Tyranny. 209 

the "Addled Parliament" dissolved without enacting a 
single law. Among the participants in that stormy session 
were John Eliot and Thomas Wentworth, memorable names 
in the history of the constitutional struggle of the following 
reign. Their first lesson in Parliamentary opposition was 
brief, and they did not soon learn a second ; seven years 
elapsed before the king's third Parliament was summoned. 

Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, and son of that Baron 
Burleigh who had given Elizabeth a life of faithful service, 
was the first adviser of the king, and the only real minister 
that James tolerated. Lord Bacon, his chancellor, gave his 
advice unheeded. After Cecil's death James cultivated 
favorites in the place of counselors. The first was a page of 
the court, one Robert Carr, a young Scot, who had neither 
ability nor character. James made him his companion and 
private secretary, loaded him with wealth and honors, and 
created him earl of Somerset. Within the space of two years 
Somerset ruined himself by his misconduct. The king's par- 
don saved his life, but another young man, George Yilliers, 
better known by his later title, duke of Buckingham, had 
gained the favor of the king. His wealth soon surpassed 
that of his predecessor, for the king intrusted to him the 
distribution of oftices and peerages, and his purse was stuffed 
with enormous bribes. " Steenie," as the king called Buck- 
ingham, was a handsome, genial fellow, with fine taste for 
art, and very poor morals, whether public or private. The 
death of the Prince of Wales left the younger son, Charles, 
heir-apparent to the crown, and to him the favorite attached 
himself, even more closely than to the father. 

Meanwhile James followed his own will in the administra- 
tion of the realm. The all-important question of revenue 
was variously met. The impositions were increased, but they 
proved insufficient. A " benevolence " was asked, but only 
a small sum resulted. " Baronets," a new order of nobility, 
were created, and patents of this new rank, and seats in the 

210 Ax Outline History of England. 

House of Lords were sold for ready money. The effort of 
the king to interfere with the proceedings of the law courts 
was resisted by the chief-justice, Sir Edward Coke, and that 
great lawyer was dismissed from the bench (1616). The 
lawless extortions of the crown were repeated by the offi- 
cials of the court. Buckingham's wealth was the result of 
bribery. Judges received no salaries, and a premium was 
thus placed upon official corruption. In 1621 Lord Bacon 
himself, "the wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind," the 
chancellor of the realm, was impeached by the House of 
Commons for taking bribes. He acknowledged that he had 
received money from suitors, but declared that the payments 
had not influenced his decisions. The Lords condemned 
him, and he retired from office to devote the remaining years 
of his life to the study of philosophy. 

The Parliament which condemned Lord Bacon was called 
for a very different purpose — one which brings the student to 
the perverse foreign policy of the Stuart kings. Elizabeth's 
reign had indisputably proved one thing — that England was 
the natural leader of Protestant Europe against Spain, the 
champion of papistry. The first armed conflict of the two 
religions had settled this. France and the Netherlands had 
furnished the battle-ground for that struggle. After a genera- 
tion a fresh outbreak was imminent, and Germany was to be 
the stage of action. 

England was Protestant, but the willful king believed that 
an alliance with Spain would restrain both countries from the 
war, and insure a European peace. To confirm the amity 
of the naturally distrustful nations he proposed (1617) that 
Prince Charles should wed Isabella, the Spanish infanta. 
Before the death of the cautious Cecil Charles's sister Eliza- 
beth had married Frederick, the Elector Palatine, the leader 
of the German Protestants. James thought the best way to 
protect her and her children was to ally himself to Spain, the 
leading Catholic State. To this design he sacrificed Sir 

The Stuart Tyranny. 211 

"Walter Raleigh, whose deeds in South America made him 
odious to Spain. 

The negotiation of the Spanish marriage proceeded slowly. 
The English denounced it, and Spain stipulated that the 
English Catholics should worship unmolested. The parley- 
ings were disturbed by the clash of arms in Germany. 
Bohemia called King James's son-in-law Frederick to its 
throne, expelling King Ferdinand, the Catholic relative of 
the Spanish king. This revolt opened the Thirty Years' 
War (1618-1648). Frederick accepted the offered title, but 
maintained his position only a few months. The Catholic 
League drove him from Bohemia, and the Spaniards occupied 
his home dominions in the Palatinate (1620). 

A small force of English volunteers set out to aid the 
Elector, with the permission of James, and in 1621 the third 
Parliament was summoned to grant supplies for a war in 
•Germany. When the Commons found that the king wanted 
supplies first, but would give no definite plan of war, their 
ardor cooled. They voted a meager sum, but pledged them- 
selves to aid the king with their fortunes and their lives if 
he would adopt a war policy in earnest. Still he temporized 
with Spain, and while the last shreds of his son-in-law's power 
were being seized by the Catholics he still swam about the 
tempting bait of the Spanish marriage. At its second session 
this Parliament of 1621 sent a committee to ask the king to 
declare war on Spain. The monarch Avas furious. "Bring 
stools for these embassadors," he cried, when the commoners 
made known their errand, and he bade them meddle no more 
with affairs of State. To this the House entered its Protesta- 
tion, solemnly and prayerfully declaring " that the liberties 
of Parliament are the ancient and undoubted birthright and 
inheritance of the subjects of England, and that the arduous 
and urgent affairs concerning the king, state and defense of 
the realm, and of the Church of England, and the making 
and maintenance of laws and redress of grievances . . . are 

212 An Outline History of England. 

proper subjects of debate in Parliament." With his own 
hand the king tore the Protestation from the journal of the 
House, and a few days later ordered the dissolution of his 
third Parliament. 

The shameful quiescence of England in the presence of the 
suffering German Protestant States aroused James to a final 
effort to vindicate his foreign policy. In 1623 Buckingham 
and Prince Charles set out together for Madrid to bring 
about the marriage which had been delayed so long. They 
were richly entertained at Madrid, but every obstacle was 
placed in the way of the match. The Infanta was averse to 
a "heretic" husband, and the Spanish king and the pope 
devised all manner of iron-clad oaths to compel King James 
to re-open the way for the conversion of England to 
Catholicism. Charles promised to fulfill them all, but even 
then the marriage was delayed. Thwarted in his design to 
bring the Infanta to England as his bride, the prince returned 
alone in 1624 and broke off the en^ao-ement. 

James despaired of the Spanish alliance and summoned a 
fourth Parliament (1624) to prepare for war with Spain in 
defense of his daughter Elizabeth. But the Commons were 
wary of the king's purposes and chary of supplies ; they 
made a small appropriation and then rested to observe the 
movements of the king. His heart was fixed upon marry- 
ing Charles to a princess who should secure to England a 
Catholic ally on the Continent. Urged on by the favorite 
Buckingham he selected the Princess Henrietta Maria of 
France, and signed a marriage treaty which granted sub- 
stantial liberties to English Catholics. With such an 
unpopular deed to answer for it was folly to ask Parliament 
for money. Buckingham undertook to open hostilities 
without an appropriation, but the twelve thousand English- 
men who crossed to the Continent for the campaign (1625) 
under Count Mansfield were decimated by disease. In the 
midst of these disasters James died, March 27, 1625. 

The Stuart Tyranny. 213 

Charles Stuart immediately succeeded his father as Charles 
I. of England. Courtly presence, pleasing address, dignity 
of manner, and cultivated tastes combined to recommend 
him to the English, who had turned in disgust from the 
boorish James. In his household, as in society, Charles was 
a polished gentleman, but in his theory of kingly power he 
was a tyrant. The principles of absolute authority in which 
James believed were inherited by the son, and practiced 
with a persistency, which led to war, dethronement, death. 

The newly-crowned king revived the hopes of the nation. 
His hatred of Spain and zeal for his sister Elizabeth promised 
that England should soon resume her place among the Protest- 
ant nations. Parliament was summoned, and asked to appro- 
priate sums for the prosecution of the war, which Buckingham 
had begun with Mansfield's wretched fiasco in Holland. But 
a few months had altered the temper of the nation. Two 
months before (May, 1625) the king had married the French 
princess, Henrietta Maria. It was suspected that the mar- 
riage was a prelude to a milder attitude of the government 
toward the English Catholics. Until the monarch should 
declare his intentions the Commons would not satisfy his 
demands. They voted him one sixth of the desired amount; 
but the tonnage and poundage duties, heretofore granted for 
the lifetime of the sovereign, were assigned to Charles for 
one year only. This Parliament was dissolved two months 
after its first meeting. 

Before a year had passed a second obstinate Parliament 
had met and been sent to its homes (February to June, 1626). 
The Commons were intractable. Led by Sir John Eliot they 
defied the king's claims to absolute power. When he cast 
Eliot and Digges into prison their colleagues refused to tran- 
sact business until the members were released. They even 
voted to impeach Buckingham for his crimes; but before 
they could bring the favorite to trial Charles ordered their 

214 An Outline History of England. 

Two years had passed; two Parliaments had come and 
gone without filling the royal purse. The half-hearted war 
with Spain was a total failure. To conciliate the Protestants, 
the king now broke the pledges of Catholic toleration by 
which he now bound himself to France in the marriage 
treaty. Cardinal Richelieu was the statesman who directed 
the policy of Louis XIII., the French king. Late in 162G war 
broke out between the two countries. The independent Hugue- 
not sea-port of Rochelle — "proud city of the waters" — was 
besieged by the French, and Buckingham's expedition for 
its relief (1C27) ended in inglorious defeat. "Since En- 
gland was England it had not received so dishonorable a 

The money for the war was raised by a " forced loan " 
which was manifestly illegal. Men who refused to con- 
tribute were imprisoned without trial. Among them was 
John Hampden, a country squire, who said he did not be- 
grudge the money, but he dared not incur the curse of Magna 
Charta by disobedience of its rules. Five of the prisoners 
asked for trial on a writ of habeas corpus, but the servile 
judges buttressed the royal power by declaring that it was 
the king's to say whether or not men should be tried. This 
decision broke another provision of the Great Charter. 
One after another the hard-won liberties of the English- 
men were being extinguished by the monarch. 

The third Parliament of this reign met in March, 1628. 
Sir John Eliot, according to whose theory the king was the 
servant of Parliament, was its chief orator and most uncom- 
promising leader. Sir Thomas Wentworth, keen and prac- 
tical, but of aristocratic ideas, stood with Eliot. In the rank 
and file of the House were John Hampden, John Pym, Denzil 
Holies, and another country squire, a cousin of the "stiff- 
necked " Hampden — Oliver Cromwell, of the straitest sect of 
the Puritans. 

Such earnest men did not wait for another to open the sub- 

The Stuart Tyranny. 215 

ject which was uppermost in all minds. With zealous care 
they drew up a " Petition of Right," reciting the hitherto 
acknowledged liberties of the kingdom, and the divers man- 
ners in which they had been trampled upon by the House of 
Stuarts. Four especially odious acts were specified : the lay- 
ing of taxes without consent of Parliament, the billeting of 
troops upon private families, the employment of martial law 
in time of peace, and the imprisonment of citizens without 
specified accusation. Charles was reluctant to accept this 
document which proposed to curtail his authority, but he 
was in sad financial straits, and his fawning judges told him 
that the execution of the parliamentary proposals might 
be prevented by the courts. With extensive mental res- 
ervations he set his signature to the bill, and received 
in compensation an abundant subsidy from his delighted 

But the Commons followed up their victory by another 
assault upon the favorite. " We will perish together," 
said King Charles. But Buckingham fell first. He was at 
Portsmouth, superintending the embarkation of the forces 
with which he hoped to retrieve his fortunes at Rochelle, 
when John Felton, a fanatical lieutenant, incited by motives 
of revenge and patriotism, stabbed him to the heart. 

While Parliament was training its guns on the throne for 
its unlawful taxes and its High Church sympathies, the king 
did his best to control its deliberation. The presiding officer, 
Speaker Finch, had royal orders — which motions to entertain 
and when to adjourn. The Commons grew restive under 
this interference. They took counsel over Sunday what to 
do. On Monday, March 2, 1629, they met, with their minds 
made up. Mr. Speaker had the king's command to adjourn 
forthwith, but the House would not adjourn. When Finch 
would have left the chair young Holies and another held 
him in his seat, swearing " he shall sit there till it please the 
House to rise." The doors were hastily barred and Eliot's 

216 An Outline History of England. 

voice rang out above die tumult. He moved, amid the as- 
senting shouts of the Commons, three resolutions, stating 
plainly that whoever introduced new religious opinions or 
services, whoever advised the levy of unparliamentary taxes, 
and whoever voluntarily paid such taxes, was an enemy of 
England. A few days later (March 10) this Parliament was 
dissolved. Sir John Eliot, Holies, and other actors in that 
famous scene were arrested; when Eliot died of consumption 
in the Tower (1632) the spiteful king refused his body to his 
mourning family. 

Three Parliaments had now brought forth only trouble — 
the third more than the first — and King Charles concluded 
that much unpleasantness might be avoided by having no 
more Parliaments in which these irreverent Puritans meddled 
with affairs of Church and State. For eleven years, accord- 
ingly (1629-1640), the king summoned them no more. Three 
men were his main reliance in the period of personal govern- 
ment which now opened: Wentworth, Laud, and Weston. 
Sir Thomas Wentworth, Eliot's former colleague, had become 
a royalist in 1628, and by successive promotions attained the 
rank of earl of Strafford. He was president of the Council of 
the North, which administered the government of the north- 
ern counties, and in civil matters was a royal and faithful 
counselor. William Laud was bishop of London, and was a 
Churchman of the narrowest type. Within his diocese he 
allowed no deviation from the established rules, and when 
(1633) his elevation to the archbishopric of Canterbury made 
all England his parish he enforced the laws of conformity 
mercilessly upon the Puritans. Weston, the Lord Treasurer, 
played a subordinate part, though it was his financial ability, 
the fertility and audacity of his invention which furnished 
the means by which the unparliamentary rule was supported. 
To save expense he persuaded his master to make peace with 
both France and Spain (1630). 

"Thorough" was Strafford's name for his system of ad- 

The Stuart Tyranny. 217 

ministration. A definite purpose — to achieve good govern- 
ment by strengthening the power of the king — ruled all his 
movements, and in Laud he found a willing and efficient co- 
adjutor. Together they set about the administration of 
Church and State in such high-handed fashion that, between 
tax-gathers and clergy, the Puritans had no peace. In 1629 
the Massachusetts Bay Colony was chartered by a company 
of Englishmen in quest of religious liberty. Salem and 
Boston were founded in the following year. The tide of em- 
igration ebbed and flowed in sympathy with the vigor or re- 
laxation of Wentworth and Laud, but it never entirely 
ceased, and within a dozen years from the issue of the char- 
ter, 20,000 English Puritans left the mother country for the 
New England wilderness. 

The problem of revenue was of all the most immediate and 
puzzling. The illegal tonnage and poundage customs fur- 
nished a portion ; extensive monopolies of commodities fed 
another financial stream; land-holders were knighted and 
made to pay for the enforced honor; obsolete feudal fines and 
dues to the crown were revived and collected; Catholics paid 
well for staying away from church. The court of Star 
Chamber, wherein the king's judges and counselors gave 
judgment without jury, was the treasurer's instrument of 
oppression in matters. 

The need of a fleet to protect commerce put a new idea 
into the heads of the king's ministers. An ancient practice 
of commanding the maritime counties to furnish ships for 
the navy was revived. The next year (1636) it was ex- 
tended. The inland counties as well were ordered to pay a 
new tax, " ship-money," to be used in furnishing forth the 
fleet. Servile judges pronounced the levy legitimate, and the 
government thought that deliverance from its hardships had 
dawned at last. If this tax were lawful why summon another 
Parliament? John Hampden, of Buckinghamshire, com- 
prehended the importance of the principle, and almost alone 

218 An Outline History of England. 

took stand against it. He was not a poor man, but he would 
not pay the twenty shillings of ship-money which the royal 
commissioners levied on him (1637). Try him they might 
before the royal Exchequer Court, and convict him they did 
(163S), but not until the nation had gained courage from the 
knowledge that one patriot had not bowed his neck to the 
scepter. Hampden was applauded; his slavish judges were 
reviled. But the new shackles which the ship-money decision 
placed upon English freemen increased the numbers who 
longed for rest. A ro}^al j)rohibition checked the emigration 
to New England. 

What the Star Chamber court was to the civil government 
the court of High Commission was to Archbishop Laud in 
his zeal for the Church. Not uniform opinions, but outward 
conformity to the Church laws, was his aim, and in 
attaining it he was as thorough as Strafford could wish. 
For the numerous body of thoughtful Puritan Englishmen, 
whose conscience rebelled at the capes, the robes, the cross- 
ings, bowings, and kneelings of the Church service, Laud 
had neither sympathy nor mercy. "With absolute intoler- 
ance he drove Puritan ministers from their pulpits, forced 
the established worship upon unwilling congregations, mak- 
ing it even more outrageous to Calvinists by innovations 
which, in their sensitive nostrils, savored of ever-dreaded 
Rome. " Dr. Alabaster preached flat popery," said young Mr. 
Cromwell to the Commons. Not only were non-conformist 
preachers cast out, but laymen suffered for lapses in morals 
and attacks upon the clergy. William Prynne, a banister 
with a caustic pen, had his ears cut off for a libelous writing, 
ITistriomastix, condemning the theater. Other men, who 
condemned the Church for its loose Sabbath-keeping and its 
tendency toward papistry, stood in the pillory, or sat in 
the stocks, while the common people stood by pitying ; for 
the roughest work which Laud might do could not, at short 
notice, shake Puritan England from its settled beliefs. 

The Stuart Tyranny. 219 

In 1636 King Charles, who was also king of Scotland, 
gave Archbishop Laud permission to carry his measures of 
reform across the border, and bring the Scottish Kirk into 
uniformity with the Church of England. The Kirk had been 
modeled by John Knox and his fellow-Calvinists upon strict 
Presbyterian principles, and the general assembly, which 
made laws for the Church, was the head of an organization 
more powerful than the civil constitution of the realm. 
Andrew Melville, a successor of Knox, had wounded the 
vanity of King James by telling him that in the Scottish 
Kirk his majesty was " not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, 
but only a member." Little wonder that James was charmed 
by contrast with the subservience of the English bishops. 

He upheld the Church of England against the Puritans, for 
fear that Puritanism would lead to Presbyterianism. The 
bishops he valued as a main reliance of his theory of abso- 
lute power, and in 1610 he forced upon the Scottish Kirk an 
anomalous system, bishops being appointed to preside in the 
Presbyterian synods. James had a wholesome fear of his 
canny countrymen, and he rejected Laud's early schemes to 
complete the re-organization of the Scottish church establish- 
ment. "He does not know the stomach of that people," was 
James Stuart's comment on the bishop's plan. 

Charles was less of a Scot, and knew less of the Scottish 
tenacity, or he would have been satisfied with his father's 
progress. He let Laud place the full control of the Kirk in 
the hands of the bishops, and force upon the Presbyterian 
preachers a liturgy based upon the English book of common 
prayer. The Scots stopped their ears rather than listen to the 
new service. Jenny Geddes flung her stool at the head of the 
bishop who held service at St. Giles's kirk, Edinburgh (July 
23, 1637), and the riotous congregation yelled "A pape, a 
pape ! " and " Stane him ! " It was impossible to read the 
service-book there or elsewhere. 

The king raged, but the Scots organized committees — " the 

220 An Outline History of England. 

Tables" — who, on February 28, 1638, formed the Solemn 
League and Covenant to recover and maintain the purity 
and liberty of the Gospel. To regain his slipping grasp 
upon his ancestral kingdom Charles sent the marquis of 
Hamilton to Edinburgh with concessions. A general assem- 
bly of the Kirk was to be held, and the service-book with- 
drawn. The assembly met at Glasgow, November, 1638, 
but Hamilton was powerless to deal with it. In defiance of 
him and his master, the Scottish bishops were deposed, and 
the whole system of Presbyterianism was re-established as it 
had been thirty years before. 

The overthrow of the royal and episcopal authority in 
Scotland was a serious reverse for the policy of Thorough. 
"With John Hampden's resistance before them, and the suc- 
cessful revolt of the Scottish Presbyterians for an example, the 
English Puritans might rise against the king — Parliament or 
no Parliament. Obviously the only consistent course for 
Charles and his archbishop was to crush the Scottish rebell- 
ion by force. Money was scraped together in odd ways for 
the. first "Bishops' War" (1639), and an army marched 
toward Scotland. Peace was patched up without a battle 
by the "Pacification of Dunse ;" but the Scots refused to 
id; eat from the course which had been determined in the 
general assembly of Glasgow. The king knew not what to 
do next, and the earl of Strafford hastened from Ireland to 
give him counsel. 

Strafford had been sent to Ireland in 1633 as governor 
(Lord Deputy), and had set up in that distracted kingdom 
the policy of Thorough which was his prescription for all 
political ills. With supreme confidence in himself and in his 
own wisdom he decided what would be best for the Irish; then 
he went to work to effect that result, using indifferently any 
method — persuasion, cajoling, bribery, force — which would 
bring him most quickly to his destination. Thus he estab- 
lished order in Ireland, introduced the culture of flax and 

The Stuart Tyranny. 221 

the linen trade, summoned an Irish Parliament, and with it 
maintained a small standing army. In fact he exhibited on 
a small scale the absolutism of which Charles so fondly 
dreamed. It was from this successful labor that he was re- 
called to England in 1639. 

His advice was to summon Parliament. It may be that 
his experience with Irishmen had effaced his memories of 
English temper. Perhaps he turned to Parliament as the 
king's only hope at the present crisis. Letters had been in- 
tercepted which showed that Scotland and France were 
drawing together; possibly Strafford trusted in this disclos- 
ure to work the nation to the pitch of voting the money 
which must be had if Scotland were not to be lost. What- 
ever motives may have moved the king, this much is certain: 
a Parliament met at Westminster, April 13, 1640, and, heed- 
less of the intercepted letters, immediately demanded the 
re'dress of grievances as a prelude to the passage of the 
supply bills. Evidently nothing was to be done with such 
advisers, and on May 5, 1640, the "Short Parliament" was 

Spurred on by Went worth and Laud the king renewed 
hostilities with Scotland — the second Bishops' War — but 
his untrained army fled from the field at Newburn. The 
Scots now demanded terras of pence and settlement, and 
their army encamped on English soil, prepared to march on 
to London to extort a treaty. Charles shrank from another 
conflict with the Commons; the Lords had been less insolent, 
perhaps they would help him now. A council of peers met 
in September, but their only recommendation Avas to sum- 
mon Parliament. He could do no other. The Scottish army 
was only held in its camp by his promise to pay £850 a 
day until a permanent settlement should be reached, and 
without Parliament he surely could not raise that amount of 
money. Writs of election were accordingly issued, and roy- 
alist and commoner plunged into the electoral battle. 

222 An Outline History of England. 

John Hampden, the ship-money hero, rode through the 
country with John Pym, who had grown gray in resistance to 
the Stuart pretensions, arousing the people to their oppor- 
tunity to fling off" the tyranny of the crown. The king's men 
were beaten every-where, and the men who met at West- 
minster on the third of November, 1640, came with resolute 
purpose not to separate without placing eifective curb upon 
the royal power. Pym and Hampden were there — the former 
the leader of the Commons, its orator, its controlling spirit; 
the silent Cromwell was there from Cambridge town; young 
Holies, who had held Mr. Speaker in his great chair and been 
in prison for it, was there, with Lucius Carey and Edward 
Hyde, who, in the troublesome times ensuing, chose the king's 
side, and quitted Parliament, the one to become Lord Falk- 
land and perish in the civil wars, the other to figure as Lord 
Clarendon and write a ponderous royalist history of what 
seemed to him " Rebellion." All these and live hundred 
others were of that House of Commons, the most famous or 
infamous — according to the point of view — that ever sat in 
England. This was the "Long Parliament," which through 
many vicissitudes and adjournments, expulsions and restora- 
tions, existed until March 16, 1660 ; twenty years lacking eight 

All that Charles desired of Parliament w r as to furnish 
money to pay the Scottish army its £850 per diem, and equip 
an army of Englishmen. But Parliament required more from 
the king. It wanted to settle forever the matters of arbi- 
trary imprisonments, of unauthorized taxation, and of Laud's 
ecclesiastical innovations. It was in the main Puritan, with 
an infusion of Independent members. The overhanging pres- 
ence of the Scots in the north gave to Parliament a power 
over the king which was pushed to the utmost extent. The 
Scots would stay until the stipend should be paid. Instead 
of paying the Commons put the thumb-screws on the king. 

On the eighth day of the session they impeached the earl of 

The Stuart Tyranny. 223 

Strafford of high treason, and a few days later Archbishop 
Laud was imprisoned on the same accusation. In an im- 
peachment trial the House of Lords sat as judges. Treason 
was crime against the king and the Lords objected to con- 
demning the king's best friend on such a charge ; so the ac- 
cusers hastily changed their plans and, relinquishing the 
trial, pushed a bill of attainder through both Houses. Charles 
wept like a child when the bill which was aimed at the life 
of his faithful supporter " as a public enemy " was given him 
to sign; but he signed it, and the great earl, who had trusted 
in his ability to establish the absolute supremacy of his mon- 
arch over Parliament and nation, was executed on May 12, 
1641. " Put not your trust in princes," were among the last 
words of this aristocrat, who had put no trust in the people. 
The purpose of the Parliament-men was to tie the hands of 
the monarch until they should secure for the country the 
reforms which he had denied, or faithlessly promised. In 
February, 1641, they compelled his assent to the Triennial 
Act, providing that Parliament should meet every three 
years, whether summoned by the crown or not. There were to 
be no more eleven-year periods of personal rule. Two months 
later he consented, under pressure, to an enactment that 
the Parliament then in session should be neither adjourned 
nor dissolved without its own consent. The day of " addled " 
and "short" Parliaments was over; the one now in session 
was both brainy and protracted. Assured of their continu- 
ance in power, the Commons struck out boldly. Tonnage 
and poundage taxes were condemned, ship-money was pro- 
nounced unlawful, the courts of Star Chamber and High 
Commission by which the king had been able to cloak his 
tyranny with the robe of the law were abolished. This work 
done, the Scots were paid off and peace restored between the 
two kingdoms (August, 1641). Scotland remained Presby- 
terian, while England was trying to purify its Church of the 
Laudian innovations. 

224 Ax Outline History of England. 

Of its own free-will Parliament dispersed for an autumnal 
recess of six weeks, leaving a committee of each House to 
watch for developments. Pym was chairman of the Com- 
mons committee. His name was first in all that the Com- 
mons did; the Royalists, who were much grieved at these 
doings, ridiculed the plain name of the man, and scoffed at 
his authority. "King Pym" they called him, and indeed 
Charles Stuart was less royal by nature than this John Pym, 
Commoner. Parliament re-assembled October 20, 1641, in a 
nervous condition. Charles had been in Scotland, and had 
made the country scarcely knew what bargain with the duke 
of Argyle, the head of the Scotch Presbyterians. 

In November horrible tidings came from Ireland. Order 
disappeared when Strafford's strong hand was withdrawn, and 
now the Roman Catholics, excited by the loss of their lands 
and by English injustice to themselves and their ancestors, 
rose in savage insurrection and massacred the Protestant 
population of Ulster — strong men, defenseless women, and 
helpless children. The king did not seem sufficiently shocked 
at the news, and wicked men insinuated that he had caused 
the revolt that he might obtain from Parliament an army. 
With an army he might perhaps disperse other enemies be- 
sides Irish rebels. However, no troops were granted to him; 
on the contrary, the Commons drew up, after serious debate, 
a Grand Remonstrance — 206 articles lon^ — relating the un- 
lawful acts of the reign. The majority for it was small, 
and an old story has it that Mr. Cromwell was heard to say 
as he left the hall, that "if the Remonstrance had not passed 
he would have sold all and gone to New England." 

This paper, printed and read in every English parish, 
molded opinion in support of its authors. The king paid it 
little heed; he had conceded much under stress of circum- 
stances, but his belief in the justice and legality of his 
own coarse was unshaken, and he still meant to recover 
the ground from which his enemies had driven him, The 

The Stuart Tyranny. 225 

Church organization had been attacked at the spring ses- 
sion, when the Commons had made an unsuccessful attempt 
to oust the bishops from the House of Lords, where they 
acted with the royalist majority. In December an unguard- 
ed act of the bishops themselves enabled the Commons to 
imprison them. This was followed by a law depriving them 
of their seats in the upper House. 

January 4, 1642, was one of the memorable days of the 
session. The king's patience was at an end. Against 
Lord Kimbolton and four Commoners, " King " Pym, " ship- 
money " Hampden, Holies and Strode, was raised royal accu- 
sation of treasonable correspondence with Scotland. Charles 
kissed Queen Henrietta Maria good-bye, and went to West- 
minster with five hundred men to arrest the five. "The 
birds were flown " — to use his .own surprised expression — 
when he entered the House, and their colleagues deafened 
the ears of their royal master as he retired with cries of 
" privilege," " privilege," meaning that they considered his 
act a breach of their privilege as legislators. 

On the 10th of January Charles quitted his palace of 
Whitehall for the north of England, where he was safer 
than in the Puritan capital. He could only return at the 
head of an army; the queen crossed to Holland to pawn the 
crown-jewels for artillery and small arms. Both sides now 
saw far enough into the future to perceive the inevitable con- 
flict, and each party set about strengthening itself. The Roy- 
alists in the two Houses, to the number of ninety-seven, left 
their places and joined the king at York. Since Parliament 
could no longer obtain the royal assent to its enactments, 
it decided that such approval was needless. " Ordinances " 
was the name given to these unapproved laws. 

On June 2 nineteen propositions were submitted by the 
Commons to the king. They required him to surrender to Par- 
liament the control of the militia, the possession of forts and 
arsenals, the reformation of the Church, the appointment of 

226 An Outline History of England. 

the royal ministers. " No surrender " was the royal policy; 
the propositions were rejected, whereupon Parliament as- 
sumed control of the militia, made the earl of Essex its chief 
commander, and selected a committee of public safety to un- 
dertake the defense. For his part Charles raised the royal 
standard at Nottingham (August 22, 1642). Before the close 
of the summer the armies of the rival powers, king and Par- 
liament, were ready for action. The civil war had begun. 

The fighting of the first year of the war went against the 
Parliamentary armies. Their soldiers were the peasantry 
and the city rabble, while the cavalry, the pride of the royal 
camp, was composed of gentlemen of spirit, well armed, well 
feci, and mounted on thoroughbred hunters. Prince Rupert, 
son of James Stuart's daughter, Elizabeth of Bohemia, was 
the dashing leader of these cavaliers, and he made short work 
of the " round-head " trained bands, as the short-haired 
Puritans were called by the curled fops of Charles's court. 
The first battle, at Edgehill, Oct. 23, 1642, was indecisive, but 
the royalists marched on London, and only the bold front of 
London trained-bands kept them out of the city. Neither 
party ventured upon pitched battles; the northern, western, 
and midland counties were steadfastly royalist. The coun- 
ties of the south and east bound themselves in associations to 
support the Parliamentary cause. Oliver Cromwell, now a 
colonel of horse, was a leading spirit in the eastern associa- 

Throughout the second year of the war the Royalists 
gained ground. Essex proved slow and inefficient. Some- 
thing ailed the Parliament's troops ; Colonel Cromwell told 
Hampden that they were 'prentices and tapsters, sure to run 
from the high-spirited gentlemen who opposed them. If he 
had his way he would oppose these men of honor with sober 
men of religion. Patriot Hampden fell (June, 1643) in fight, 
but cousin Cromwell put his theory into practice. His reg- 
iment of horse, "Ironsides," becomes noted for its religious 

The Stuart Tyranny. 227 

zeal. The men pray before battle, and never retreat. "Truly 
they were never beaten at all," said their leader. 

Parliament was not inactive, whatever may be said of its 
armies. A Puritan assembly, in session by its side at West- 
minster since July 1, 1643, was considering the reform of 
the Church; the bishops had joined the king, and affairs 
ecclesiastical were in utter disorganization. To the Presby- 
terianism of Scotland Pym turned for example and aid. In 
return for military assistance against the king, Parliament 
promised to take the Covenant by which the Scots had estab- 
lished their own Kirk. On September 25, 1643, 25 peers and 
288 of the commons signed the "Solemn League and Cov- 
enant," binding the government to make the religion of the 
three kingdoms uniform in faith and worship. Thus Pres- 
byterianism was established in place of Episcopalianism as 
the State religion of England, and 2,000 Church of England 
clergyman left their pulpits rather than accept the Cove- 
nant which was now offered every-where as a test of loyalty 
to the Parliament. An executive committee of Scottish and 
English was charged with the conduct of the war. This 
alliance drove the king to a base resort: he made league 
with the Irish rebels, red-handed from the massacres of 

The death of Pym in December saddened but did not 
dismay his party. In January Alexander Leslie, with the 
Scots, forded the Tweed. Fairfax and Waller scattered the 
Irish contingent before it could be of service to the king. 
Toward night-fall on the 2d of July, 1644, Prince Rupert, 
whose brilliant- and rapid movements had thus far made him 
the most notable royalist figure in the war, attacked the al- 
lies on Marston Moor, in Yorkshire. The Scotch quailed 
before the fury of his charge, but Cromwell's steady Iron- 
sides outmatched the cavaliers and chased them from the 
field. The north of England, with York and Newcastle, 
surrendered to the Parliamentary leaders. In the south, how- 

228 An Outline History of England. 

ever, the lumbering Essex scarcely held his ground; in Corn- 
wall his infantry was captured by the king. 

In the fall and winter the royalists of the Scottish High- 
lands, under the vigorous lead of the marquis of Montrose, 
and aided by a contingent from Ireland, harried, burned, and 
killed in the Lowlands, in the hope that Leslie's army would 
withdraw from England to defend its homes. In October, 
Charles again marched on London, but was repulsed at New- 
bury. Cromwell thought that repulse was not enough; such 
an army as he would construct would have made short work 
of the king. He complained to Parliament that the generals 
were "afraid to conquer;" and he was right. The major- 
ity of Parliament wished to force Charles to resume the 
throne and govern as a Presbyterian sovereign, with proper 
checks and limitations upon his authority. They did not 
wish to kill him, or "to beat him too badly." For these 
half-way measures Cromwell had no use. He proposed a 
sweeping military reform, a new-modeling of the army on the 
Ironside plan. 

The withdrawal of the royalists and the acceptance of the 
Covenant had left Parliament almost unanimously Presby- 
terian. Archbishop Laud had been executed for treason 
(January 1645), and the Church of England liturgy had been 
replaced by a simpler service like that of the Scottish Kirk. 
From 1643 to 164S an Assembly of Divines sat at Westmin- 
ster establishing a creed, a liturgy, and a system of Church 
government for English Presbyterians. In April, 1645, Pres- 
byterianism was by law established the religion of England, 
and it was the purpose of Parliament to compel the nation 
to conform to it by measures as stringent as those of Laud 

Cromwell's plans of military reform were adopted in 
April, 1645. By a "self-denying ordinance" all members of 
Parliament — except Cromwell, now deemed indispensable — 
were removed from military command. Sir Thomas Fairfax 

The Stuart Tyeanxy. 229 

succeeded Essex as captain-general, with Colonel Cromwell 
for his lieutenant. The entire force was reorganized on the 
plans of the famous regiment of horse. " Honest men of re- 
ligion, whose heart was in the cause," were its commissioned 
officers, whether they were draymen, butchers, or gentle- 
men of family and fortune. So far as possible the same 
principles were carried into the rank and file, and when the 
"New Model," as the force was called, took the field, the 
king's gay troopers faced the most remarkable military body 
that had ever mustered in England. Prayer-meetings, psalm- 
singings, sermons, and exhortations were the avocations of 
these men, among whom was one dreamy lad, John Bunyan, 
and others whom the world has not forgotten. 

While the New Model was mustering and drilling, and 
the Parliament wavered between war and peace, the royalists 
caught glimpses of success. They saw their enemies 
divided and the army a mass of raw recruits under new 
officers. Montrose wrote from Scotland that he should 
soon be able to send re-enforcements. In February, 1G46, 
the king had obstinately refused to come to terms with 
Parliament ; in June he took the offensive and attacked the 
New Model at Naseby (June 14, 1645). Cromwell com- 
manded the cavalry that day and surpassed his feats at 
Marston Moor. Officers and soldiers no longer feared to 
conquer. The raw troops routed the king's men, captured 
camp, royal papers, artillery, and two thirds of the army. 

The civil Avar was over. The defeat of Montrose at Philip- 
haugh, September 13, destroyed the royalist party in Scot- 
land, and on March 26, 1646, the soldiers of Parliament won 
the last battle at Stow. 

The defeat of the royalists left two parties in the kingdom- — 
Parliament and the New Model. The former was bent uj^on 
forcing Presbyterianism upon the nation. The latter, in 
which the Independents were influential, demanded that the 
toleration of all Protestant sects should form part of any 

230 An Outline History of England. 

settlement which should be made with the king. In May, 
1646, Charles gave himself up to the Scottish Presbyterian 
army, which was still encamped in the north. He did not 
realize that he was conquered, and believed that the differ- 
ence of opinion between the Parliament and army would 
divide his enemy and make his triumph possible. The 
agreement which Parliament asked him to sign provided for 
his restoration to the throne, but placed the militia under 
the command of Parliament for tAventy years, and sanctioned 
the Presbyterian form of worship for the English Church. 
This suited neither the king nor the army, who desired 
toleration for persons outside the Established Church. For 
the sum of £400,000 the Scots surrendered Charles to Parlia- 
ment and marched home (January 30, 1647). 

Feeling between the New Model and the Presbyterians 
grew more intense. The party of the Independents in 
Parliament had gained strength by new elections which filled 
the places of absent royalists, and the majority feared for 
their supremacy. The army, which was determined to secure 
the religious liberties for which it had fought, defied the 
order of Parliament to disband. Cromwell, accused of in- 
citing mutiny, fled from the wrath of the Commons to the 
camp. Cornet Joyce, with a detachment of the New Model, 
seized the ill-guarded king at Holmby House (June, 1647). 
All parties now negotiated with Charles, and his sense of his 
own importance was inordinately increased. He heard them 
all, pretended to favor each, but was sincere with none. On 
November 11, 1647, he escaped to the Isle of Wight, where 
he signed a secret treaty with Scotland. The Scots were 
rabidly Presbyterian, and resolute to force the same system 
upon England, in spite of the liberal ideas of the New Model. 
Charles promised to aid them in return for armed assistance. 
In January, 1648, the kingdom was again at war. The 
royalists rose in half the counties ; the Presbyterians in 
Parliament vehemently opposed the Cromwellian army, and 

The Stuart Tyranny. 231 

a Scottish force prepared to invade England. Cromwell put 
down the royalist revolt, and Parliament, having declared 
the Independents heretical and blasphemous, re-opened its 
treaties with Charles. The Scotch invasion under the duke 
of Hamilton was met and hurled back by Cromwell in a three 
days' fight at Preston Pans, August 17 to 19, 1648. Fairfax 
reduced the south to submission. The army again seized the 
king, and giving up all compromise marched upon London. 
Having determined with prayerful deliberation what course 
to pursue, Cromwell, now supreme in the New Model, let no 
weak scruples block his path. On the sixth and seventh days 
of December, 1648, the Commons, on entering their hall, had 
to pass by Colonel Pride, whose soldiers arrested at his orders 
the members whom he pointed out. " Pride's Purge " cost 
Parliament its Presbyterian majority. The remnant — " the 
Rump " its enemies called it — comprised some sixty Inde- 
pendent members, who continued to exercise the authority 
of a full Parliament, executing promptly the will of the 
council of officers which Cromwell directed. A special 
tribunal of one hundred and thirty-five persons — the High 
Court of Justice— was set up to try the charges against the 
king. The House of Lords declining to participate the 
Commons declared themselves the sole legislature of the 
realm. Men shrank from the impending act. Barely half 
the commissioners took part in the trial. Charles made no 
defense beyond declaring that the court had no jurisdiction 
over him. But the court was satisfied of its authority. Sen- 
tence of death was passed upon him January 27, and on the 
30th the misguided Charles Stuart was beheaded at White- 
hall. Upon the Commons' order it was proclaimed in every 
English town and county, " that whosoever shall proclaim a 
new king, Charles Second or any other, without authority of 
Parliament, in this nation of England, shall be a traitor and 
suffer death." And here, thought many, England had for- 
ever done with kimrs. 

232 An Outline History of England. 


1649 A. D.-1685A. D. 


For eleven years (1649-1660) there was no king in En- 
gland, and no settled form of government. Episcopalian 
and Presbyterian royalists desired a king of the House of 
Stuart; other Presbyterians and Puritans stood for Parlia- 
ment and a republic; the many sects who constituted the 
army would have no king, nor any republic in which their 
ideas should not be tolerated. 

Cromwell, whom the struggle had raised to the command 
of the army and the chief power, w'as for the establishment 
of a constitutional government in which the executive power 
should be under legislative checks, and which should grant 
toleration for differences of religious belief. 

The Lower House of the Long Parliament, bereft of its 
royalist members, purged of its Presbyterians, and by its own 
act freed from the House of Lords, was, at the king's death (Jan- 
uary, 1649) the poor representative of constitutional govern- 
ment in England. About fifty members, dubbed the " Rump," 
took part in its deliberations, and established a council of 
State, of forty-one members (three judges, three army officers, 
five peers, and thirty members of the House of Commons, 
under presidency of Bradshaw, chief of the commission which 
ha<l condemned the king). England was proclaimed a Com- 
monwealth and Free State without king or House of Lords. 

Imminent dangers threatened the Commonwealth. Crom- 
well's relentless energy crushed a dangerous mutiny of 
"Levelers" in the army, and reformed the discipline. 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration. 233 

Charles Stuart, the late king's eldest son, was safe in Holland, 
where his sister, the Princess Mary, was wife of the chief 
magistrate, William of Orange. A large party in Scotland 
urged him to claim his own. Ireland, which had never yet 
been punished for the massacres of 1641, was thoroughly 
royalist, and its ruler, the marquis of Ormond, urged young 
Charles to come thither for support. There was need of 
prompt action, and Cromwell was chosen to perform it. As 
general of the Commonwealth he landed in Ireland in Aug- 
gust, 1649. In September the royalists in Drogheda rejected 
his terms of surrender, and he took the town by storm, grant- 
ing no quarter to the soldiers. Barely thirty escaped alive. 
Wexford garrison took no warning by the fate of Drogheda, 
and its capture was followed by a like scene of blood. In his 
reports to Parliament Cromwell said of these horrors, "I am 
persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon 
these barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands in 
so much innocent blood " [the Ulster massacres]; " and that it 
will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future." 
They had the desired effect ; after nine months, stay in Ire- 
land, the commander safely ventured to leave the Irish 
command to his lieutenant and son-in-law, Ireton, under whom 
and his successor, Ludlow, the island was reduced to order 
(1649-52). The "order" was secured by seizing royalist 
estates in three fourths of Ireland, and planting great bodies of 
Scotch and English colonists upon the confiscated lands. 
The material prosperity of the country was thereby increased, 
but the line between Protestant and Catholic was more sharp- 
ly drawn than ever, and the Irish peasant added the name of 
Cromwell to his roll of hated Saxons. 

In midsummer of 1650 Cromwell, now captain-general of 
the army, invaded Scotland. In June young Charles Stuart 
landed in the northern kingdom. He took the Covenant, and 
promised to rule the nation as a Presbyterian king. 

A large army prepared to repel the English invasion, but 

234 An Outline History of England. 

Leslie, its general, followed the wary policy of the Roman 
Fabius. To save his men from starvation Cromwell turned 
back toward England. Leslie followed, and gaining the 
heights of Dunbar blocked all routes of advance or retreat. 
Cromwell seemed lost, but the eagerness of the Scots placed 
victory in his hands. At dawn of September 3, 1650, the 
enemy descended to the valley, and as they came down the 
Puritan army, chanting a psalm of David, scattered them in 
utter ruin. Edinburgh and Glasgow surrendered; but while 
Cromwell was busy in the north, Charles II. was formally 
crowned at Scone, and plunged into the heart of England at 
the head of an army (July, 1051). Cromwell gave chase. On 
September 3, the anniversary of Dunbar, he routed the royal- 
ists and Scots under the walls of Worcester. The entire 
invading force fell into the hands of the Commonwealth. 
The king fled this way and that from Cromwell's troopers, 
hiding in an oak tree as they rode under, riding away in 
servant's dress with a gentle-woman, Jane Lane, on the 
pillion, and after strange adventures crossing the Channel 
in a Brighton collier. 

" It is, for aught I know, a crowning mercy," wrote the 
Puritan general to Parliament of Worcester fight, and hence- 
forward September 3, the day of Dunbar and Worcester, 
was his "fortunate day." And crowning mercy it was. 
Cromwell fought no more battles. His subordinates, Monk 
and Deane, restored order and English authority in Scotland, 
and he busied himself more and more with the civil govern- 
ment. The Hump Parliament, through the Council of State, 
was ruling England, and in the hands of a few vigorous spirits 
like Sir Harry Vane was endeavoring to strengthen itself to 
withstand Cromwell and the army, when the inevitable con- 
flict should arise between the two. By Vane's efforts a 
strong fleet had been launched in the Channel, and small 
causes of offense had been nursed into an open war with 
Holland — a war which produced a series of naval battles in 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration. 235 

the Channel between the English Admiral Blake and Gen- 
eral Monk and the brilliant Dutch sea-fighters, Van Tromp 
and De Ruyter. The war lasted from July, 1652, until April, 
1654, and accomplished nothing of real advantage to either 

A settled government and the healing of political wounds 
was the constant demand of Cromwell and the army, but the 
Rump had its own plans for settlement and healing. The Par- 
liament's plan was that the Rump itself should have charge of 
the work. It was proposed to call a new Parliament, but the 
Rump undertook to pass a bill not only constituting itself a 
part of the new body, but making itself judge of the new elec- 
tions. Cromwell entered the House as the bill was passing, 
interrupted the session, pronounced the Parliament dissolved, 
and, with a file of soldiers, drove the members from their 
chamber, April 20, 1653. This was the first dissolution of 
the Long Parliament of 1640, which had the word of King- 
Charles I. that it should not be dissolved without its own 
consent. The Couneil of State fell by the same blow. 

The Puritan army was now supreme. Cromwell and a 
council of officers and civilians hit upon a plan for a new 
Parliament. The soldiers believed that they were the espe- 
cially chosen servants of God in overthrowing the king and 
Parliament. It was now proposed to vest the civil au- 
thority in a body of men chosen with main reference to 
their godliness. Accordingly between seven and eight score 
Puritan gentlemen were summoned by name to this assem- 
bly of nominees, called from its numbers the " Little Parlia- 
ment," and " Barebones Parliament," from the name of 
Praise-God Barebones, one of its worthy members. But the 
godly men were the most incapable of legislators, running 
after all sorts of Avhimsies and novelties of government. 
Cromwell himself was ashamed of them, as he afterward 
confessed. " Overturn, overturn," was their whole policy, 
he said. In December, greatly to his relief, the common 

236 An Outline IIistohy of England. 

sense of a large minority led them to resign their power 
into his hands, an example soon followed by the majority. 

This " Assembly of Nominees," " Barebones Parliament," 
or "Puritan Convention," had named a new Council- of 
State, which, in co-operation with the army officers, drew 
up a written constitution for the government of the com- 
monwealth. This " Instrument of Government " provid- 
ed for a chief executive officer called "Lord Protector of 
the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland." 
Oliver Cromwell was named for this office. He was to 
have an executive council of 21, and an army of 30,000 men. 
A Parliament of one House of 460 members was to be 
chosen triennially, and should have sole power to grant 
appropriations of money and lay taxes. Scotland and Ire- 
land were to be represented in it, but no active royalist 
might sit there. For the nine months which intervened 
between the establishment of the Protectorate and the 
assembling of this new Parliament, Oliver and his council 
governed England with a firm hand. Peace was concluded 
with Holland, and the era opened auspiciously. But new 
troubles appeared as soon as Parliament met (September 3, 
1653). Over one hundred members, declining to obey 
the provisions of the " Instrument," were excluded by 
Oliver's order, and the others showed a desire to hedge in 
and curtail the Protector's authority. The army was left 
unpaid and matters which Cromwell had settled were re- 
opened. Five months after its first meeting the Protector 
dissolved the body, saying bitterly, " It looks as if the lay- 
ing grounds for a quarrel had rather been designed than to 
give the people settlement." 

The Parliamentary apparatus failing to work, the Lord 
Protector enjoyed absolute power. The republicans hated 
him as a king, the royalists as a usurper of the Stuart throne; 
both parties failed in their plots against his life. But 
Oliver's rule was a glorious period for England. The great 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration. 23? 

days of Elizabeth seemed to return. Scotland became or- 
derly and at rest. Ireland, whipped into submission, received 
thousands of thrifty colonists. The exploits of Blake and 
the admirals recalled the daring of Drake and Howard. The 
hero of the Dutch wars chastised the Barbary pirates; Vena- 
bles and Penn (father of William Penn of American memory) 
captured Jamaica from the Spaniards in time of peace ; the 
persecuted Vaudois Protestants found safety in the protec- 
tion of England. England ranged herself with France (1655) 
for war with Spain (1650 to 1659). In this war Blake 
twice captured the Spanish treasure fleet, once destroying 
it in the harbor of Santa Cruz in the Canary Islands, under 
a tremendous fire from ships and forts. The battle of the 
Dunes, in June, 1658, gave the town of Dunkirk in the 
Spanish Netherlands to England — a recompense for Mary 
Tudor's loss of Calais. 

' To govern restive England was a more exacting business 
than to defeat the Dutch in the Channel, or the Spanish on 
the ocean. Royalist risings were frequent, and only the 
overpowering might of that splendidly disciplined army kept 
the peace. After Penruddock's rising, in March, 1655, the 
Protector divided the island into ten military districts, each 
commanded by a major-general at the head of an armed 
force supported by tithes upon the property of royalists. 
Military rule maintained artificial order, and looked into the 
morals of men as well. The country was held down by 
force proceeding from the minority. In November, 1655, the 
Protector was obliged to modify his policy of toleration. The 
friends of the king were commonly the friends of the Church. 
Accordingly Cromwell forbade public service of the Anglican 
Church, and the use of the prayer-book. Priests were banished 
from the island. Quakers, Anabaptists and other new sects 
were put under restraint — not because of their intolerable 
religious opinions, but because men of those opinions were for 
royalism, or against the established order of the commonwealth. 

238 An Outline History of England. 

In September, 1C56, the Protector summoned a second 
Parliament under the terms of the Instrument. He had been 
governing by major-generals, by ordinances, by an army — 
not at all by precedent or constitution. Charles Stuart had 
never been half so tyrannical as Oliver Cromwell ; but Oliver 
now stood alone between England and anarchy. Yet he had 
no desire to be an absolute ruler. His oft-expressed wish was 
for the people of England to co-operate for the salvation of 
the liberties which the sword had won. His government 
failed because the people were unwilling to do their part. 

The new Parliament had four hundred members, like the 
last. No papists, no "malignant" royalists were eligible. 
Even of those elected neraly one hundred were excluded by 
the Protector and council because of their violent opinions — 
likely to delay the wished-for settlement of the government. 
The House, thus purged, soon commenced the revision of the 
Instrument of Government, thinking to furnish the nation 
with a better constitution. Great changes were introduced in 
this "Petition and Advice" in which the recommendations 
of Parliament were embodied, and the changes were in the 
direction of the earlier constitution. For one House of Par- 
liament there should be two — the " Other House " correspond- 
ing in indistinct fashion to the House of Lords. The Pro- 
tector's authority was to be extended so that he might name 
his successor and have a fixed and permanent revenue. His 
title was changed to "king." All peaceable Christians 
(Romanists and Episcopalians were counted otherwise) were 
to be tolerated. After long debate, CromAvell accepted the 
amended constitution, excepting the title of king, a name 
which exactly fitted his power but was distasteful to the army 
and the republicans. On June 26, 1657, he renewed his oath 
as Protector with royal splendor in Westminster Hall. No 
crown was visible, but the republicans were shocked by the 
ceremony, the robe of purple velvet, the gilded Bible, and 
the scepter of massy gold. 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration. 239 

The Parliament re-assembled in January, 1658, the excluded 
members being allowed to take their seats, and the new 
House of Lords now sitting for the "first time. The Pro- 
tector nominated the members of the Upper House, sixty- 
three in all. Only six peers of the old Stuart days sat among 
them. Tlie others were eminent commoners, major-generals 
of the New Model, lawyers, and judges. This Parliament 
wasted its time in profitless contentions, and barely two 
weeks of it exhausted the Protector's patience. On Feb- 
ruary 4, 1658, he called the members together for a final 
address. He told them that at their own desire he had 
accepted the chief magistracy. " I can say in the presence of 
God," he declared, " I would have been glad to have lived 
under my woodside, to have kept a flock of sheep, rather than 
undertaken such a government. But, undertaking it, I did 
look that you, who offered it unto me, should make it good." 
He charged them with alienating the army, with aiding the 
foreign enemy, the king of Scots and his Spanish allies, and 
with preventing that oft-sought settlement. " And," he went 
on, "if this be the end of your sitting, I do dissolve this Par- 
liament, and let God be judge between you and me ! " 

These words closed the last recorded speech of Oliver 
Cromwell. His health was wasted with the intensity of the 
strain which had been upon him for fifteen years. His dear- 
est daughter, Elizabeth, died early in August, 1658, and the 
loss weakened her father sorely. Two weeks later, the 
Quaker, George Fox, notes in his journal that he met the 
Protector riding in Hampton Park, and " saw a waft of 
death go forth " from him. The next day he was very ill. 
On August 24 the doctors had him removed from the palace 
of Hampton Court to the late Charles Stuart's royal dwelling 
at Whitehall. The news of the approaching calamity brought 
Puritan England to its knees and sent up a cloud of prayer 
for his recovery. On his death-bed he talked much of re- 
ligion, spent much time in prayer. On his " fortunate day," 

240 Ax Outline History of England. 

September 3, 1658, the day of Dunbar and the "crowning 
mercy" of Worcester, the great Puritan soldier and states- 
man was dead. 

In his last illness Oliver had named Richard, his eldest 
son, as his successor ; and the new Protector was peace- 
fully inaugurated. But Richard Cromwell was in no sense 
the equal of his father. Worldly and easy-going, having no 
important share in the wars and contentions of his genera- 
tion, he had no hold upon the Puritans or the army. The 
army leaders immediately quarreled with his first Parliament, 
compelled the Protector to dissolve it almost immediately, 
and then to resign his own office, April, 1659. The constitu- 
tion was overturned, and the military power, itself absolved 
of wise direction, sought to rule the State. The officers re- 
stored (May) the "Rump" of the Long Parliament which 
Cromwell had turned out. They found it as jealous of its au- 
thority as ever, and in October they forcibly dissolved its ses- 
sions. The soldiers themselves now turned against their 
commanders, and of their own accord summoned the much- 
buffeted remnant of the Long Parliament back to Westmin- 
ster in December, 1659. 

While the army in London was disgusting all conservative 
citizens by its revolutions, the army in Scotland was working 
toward another end. The commander there was General Monk, 
an excellent Crom wellian officer, but a man devoid of the strong 
enthusiasms which swayed most men of that period. With 
substantial support from the Scots he entered England, Jan- 
uary 1, 1660, and a month later reached the capital. On 
February 26, the Presbyterians, who had been purged out of 
Parliament by Colonel Pride, were with his sanction re-admit- 
ted to their places ; and on March 16, the Rump, now re- 
stored to some semblance of the Parliament of 1640, finally 
decreed its own dissolution. Monk was in communication 
with Charles. On April 25, a new and free Parliament, 
called the " Convention," assembled, and at once entertained 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration. 241 

measures looking toward the recall of the Stuarts. On the 
14th, Charles in the Netherlands had issued his Decla- 
ration of Breda, offering pardon to his English enemies, se- 
curity of property, and tolerance for peaceable religious 
sects. The Convention enthusiastically restored the ancient 
constitution of king, Lords, and Commons, and urged Charles 
Stuart to accept his father's crown. On the twenty-fifth of 
May that prince, with a crowd of exiled royalists, landed at 
Dover, and his entrance to London was hailed with shouts of 
joy. The New Model drawn up at Blackheath gave a cold 
welcome to the son of Charles I.; but now that their work 
was done, and, to all appearance, undone, they dispersed to 
their homes. The Commonwealth was at an end, and En- 
gland was again an hereditary monarchy. 

Charles II., son of Charles I. and the French princess Hen- 
rietta Maria, was thirty years of age in the restoration year, 
1'660. The enthusiastic loyalty which hailed his return to 
England overlooked his eleven years of exile, and reckoning 
his accession from the execution of his father (1G49), counted 
the year 1GG0 the twelfth, instead of the first, year of his son. 
Charles II. was a Stuart of a new type, witty — " He never 
said a foolish thing," said Lord Rochester — and profligate — 
" and never did a wise one " ran the same taunting rhyme. 
He was handsome, courteous, gay, fond of pleasure in every 
form, but he used his courtly graces to corrupt virtue, his 
gayety became frivolity, and his love of pleasure lured 
him into reckless licentiousness. His palace was a foul nest 
of intrigue and flaunting vice. The men and women of the 
court vied with their sovereign in brazen defiance of the so- 
briety and moral order of the Puritan regime. If the king 
had any religion he kept it to himself until the day of his 
death, but his mother was a Catholic princess, and his 
brother James, Duke of York, who now became lord ad- 
miral of the fleet, was of the same faith. It was, then, a cynic 
and a skeptic whom the Convention Parliament installed in 

11 ' 

242 An Outline History of England. 

the chair of Oliver. For the divine right for which his grand- 
father argued and his father died, the new king cared noth- 
ing. He was willful, and greedy of power, but he had seen 
enough of the spirit of England and suffered enough already 
upon that point ; he would press his own policy to the ut- 
most, but when he found the nation irrevocably opposed to 
him, he was able to revise his plans and save himself from 
open conflict. After the perils of Worcester, and the dreary 
sojourn in France and Holland, the king was determined to 
keep his throne at all sacrifices; in his own careless phrase, he 
Avas fully " resolved to go no more on his travels." 

The thorough-going loyalty of England in the first years 
of the reign relieved the king from the necessity of fulltill- 
ing all of the promises of the Declaration of Breda. The 
Convention Parliament which General Monk had called sat 
through the year 1660, and transacted much business. By 
an Act of Indemnity and Oblivion the officers and soldiers of 
the Commonwealth were freely pardoned, except certain 
commissioners who had condemned Charles I. to death. 
Thirteen of these "regicides" or king-killers, were executed, 
others were imprisoned for life, while a few escaped to New 
England. The lands of royalists which had been confiscated 
were left in the hands of their new proprietors. The illegal 
taxes of the Stuart despotism — ship-money, monopolies, impo- 
sitions, and the like — were not revived. The crown gave up 
most of its remaining feudal rights for an annuity. A per- 
manent revenue was provided by a grant of £1,200,000 
a year for life. The courts of Star Chamber and High 
Commission, detested instruments of tyranny in Church and 
State, were left in the oblivion to which the Long Parlia- 
ment had consigned them. The chief officers of the royal 
government — now beginning to be called the cabinet — 
represented several parties. Edward Hyde, the friend of 
Charles I.. was from 1660 to 1667 the chief adviser of his 
son. As earl of Clarendon and chancellor, he endeavored 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration. 243 

to restore the government as nearly as possible to the old form 
of constitutional monarchy. Scotland and Ireland ceased 
to send representatives to the English Parliament, and the 
union of the three kingdoms was undone (1660), although 
the king's authority was supreme in all. A Scottish Parlia- 
ment annulled all the acts of the Presbyterian government 
since 1632, broke up the church organization, and re-estab- 
lished the rule of bishops. Bishops were restored in Ireland 
also, and an attempt was made to deprive the Cromwellian col- 
onists of their royalist lands. It was only partially success- 
ful, but the resistance of Covenanter in Scotland and Crom- 
wellian in Ireland enabled the king to support military 
forces in those countries which might be of service in such 
an emergency as had arisen in 16t2. From his personal reve- 
nue Charles supported a few thousand picked troops as the 
nucleus of a royal army. 

' The Convention was dissolved in December, 1660. It had 
been in the Presbyterian interest, had brought back the king, 
and commenced a peaceful settlement of the nation. Before 
its separation, however, this Parliament disgraced itself by 
ordering the bodies of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw to 
be disinterred and gibbeted at Tyburn. From the Parlia- 
ment elected in 1661 no royalist was excluded, and the Com- 
mons' House was filled with young cavaliers exultant at the 
overthrow of Puritan rule and the restoration of a king. 
This " Cavalier Parliament " was as strong for the Episcopal 
Church as for the Stuart king, and page on page of the stat- 
ute-books was filled with its enactments concerning the re- 
ligon of England. The members showed their intentions at 
the outset by taking the communion in Episcopalian form, 
and ordering the Solemn League and Covenant to be pub- 
licly burned by the common hangman. 

To cripple the Presbyterian influence where it was strong- 
est — in the town corporations — Clarendon secured the assent 
of the new Parliament to a series of laws. A Corporation 

244 An Outline History of England. 

Act restricted town officers to persons who should receive the 
Anglican communion, renounce the Covenant, and declare 
that it was unlawful to make armed resistance to the king. 
Then came the Act of Uniformity, making the use of the old 
prayer-book compulsory in all churches ; requiring all min- 
isters to assent to its doctrines, and reserving to the bishops 
(now restored to their sees) the sole right of ordaining clergy. 
The enforcement of this law in August, 1662, drove nearly 
two thousand of the ablest ministers in England — Presby- 
terian, Independent, Baptist, and other non-conformists — from 
their pulpits, among them Richard Baxter, the gifted author 
of Saijifs Pest. In 1664, these non-conformists, or dissenters, 
as they came to be called, were further persecuted by a 
Conventicle Act, forbidding, under the most severe penalties, 
gatherings of more than five persons for any religious serv- 
ice not contained in the prayer-book. In 1665 the FiYe Mile 
Act added to the miseries of the non-conforming clergy. 
They were asked to take oath that they would " endeavor no 
alteration of Church or State;" those who refused the oath 
were forbidden to go within five miles of any town or place 
in A\hich they had formerly held services. John Bunyan, 
tinker and Baptist exhorter, was sent to jail in 1060 
and kept there twelve years for preaching to an unlicensed 
congregation. He wrote the Pilgrim* s Progress — the most 
popular English book except the Bible — in those years of 
confinement. John Milton, who had grown up among the 
Puritans, and had held a minor position in Cromwell's gov- 
ernment, spent these years in retirement, writing the epic of 
Puritanism, the Paradise Lost. The theaters, which the Long 
Parliament had closed because of their scandalous plays, 
were re-opened with a new form of drama, in which the prof- 
ligate life of the court and nobles was blazoned to the world. 
Poetry, which Milton had raised to heights sublime, was de- 
based and polluted by the verse-makers of corrupt society. 
The earl of Clarendon directed the government through 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration. 245 

these years devoted to church reform and the establishment 
of the constitutional monarchy. The Catholic party, grow- 
ing in strength with the king, and the Presbyterian party, 
gathering power in the Commons, opposed the earl vainly 
in the internal affairs of kingdom, but with ultimate success 
in his foreign policy. The king, careless of public duty 
though he seemed, had a definite foreign policy which he 
veiled in secrecy, but never long forsook. His aim was to 
re-establish the Roman Catholic Church in England. So 
shrewdly were his designs concealed that the nation was 
panic-stricken when the discovery was finally made. That 
was not early. For ten years the secret was kept inviolate. 

The championship of the Catholic religion and of absolute 
power in Europe had passed from Spain to France. The 
statesmanship of Richelieu and Mazarin had given the 
French monarchy unprecedented power, wealth, and military 
'strength, and the young king Louis XIV. was able and eager 
to extend his sovereignty over Europe. Charles and the 
ambitious Louis were cousins, and readily came to an under- 
standing. In return for material aid to Louis on the Conti- 
nent Charles was to receive French support in setting up the 
authority of the pope. The first sign of the project was the 
marriage of King Charles with the Portuguese princess 
Catharine of Braganza (16G2), a Catholic and a friend of 
France. At the same time Charles sold the town of Dunkirk, 
Cromwell's conquest, to Louis for £400,000. The popular 
indignation which greeted these acts prevented further 
progress for a time. 

From 1665 to 1667 England and Holland, rivals for the 
carrying trade of Europe and the naval supremacy of the 
Channel, were again at war. Monk, now Lord Albemarle, and 
Prince Rupert, as bold on the sea as in the saddle, commanded 
the English fleets in a series of noted battles with the Dutch 
admirals De Witt and De Rnyter. The English had taken 
New Amsterdam in America from the Dutch in 1664, and when 

246 An Outline History of England. 

the war closed that colony remained English, under the name 
of New York. The loss and gain of territory were slight, but 
the national pride of Englishmen was sorely wounded, for the 
government so wasted the money intended for the fleet that 
repairs were impossible. The Hollanders entered the Thames 
unhindered, sailed within twenty miles of London, and 
burned docks and shipping. Men sighed for the good old 
times of the Protectorate, and told how Oliver had made 
foreign nations tremble. In July, 1667, the war, in which 
France had taken an insignificant part, Avas closed by the 
treaty of Breda. 

In the midst of the Dutch war London passed through 
two memorable calamities. In April, 1665, the popu- 
lous city, poorly paved, closely built, and ill-drained, was 
swept by a plague like the Black Death of the fourteenth 
century. It is said that one hundred thousand citizens died 
of the disease within six months. Close upon its heels came 
a second catastrophe. On September 2, 1666, a fire broke 
out in the city, and burned unchecked for three days, con- 
suming thirteen hundred buildings. Among them was the 
great church of St. Paul, afterward rebuilt on the plans of 
Sir Christopher Wren. " The Monument " marks the spot 
near which the conflagration started. The Plague, the Fire, 
and the naval victories of York, Rupert, and Monk over the 
Dutch are celebrated by the poet Dryden in his Annus 
Mirdbilis (Year Wonderful ). 

The disgrace of the Dutch war, and the discomfort of the 
people under the persecution of dissenters, heightened the 
opposition to Clarendon's administration. Charles was rest- 
ive under the constitutional curb which the earl had put 
upon him, and hailed" with delight an opportunity to discard 
the minister. In August, 1667, he was dismissed from office. 
Seven years later he died an exile in France. The cabinet 
which followed is known as the " Cabal," from the coinci- 
dence betw r een that term and the word formed by the initial 

The Commonwealth axd the Restoration. 247 

letters of the ministers' names, C-lifford, A-rlington, B-ucking- 
ham, A-shley, L-auderdale. The first important act of the 
C.ibal placed its members in sympathy with the nation. 
Their envoy, Sir William Temple, negotiated with Holland 
and Sweden the "Triple Alliance" (January 13, 1668), the 
three Protestant powers binding themselves to block Louis 
XIV. in his designs against the Spanish possessions. The king 
had no sympathy with this act of his ministers, but was him- 
self carrying on in secret a friendly correspondence with 
Louis. In 1670 he signed the secret "treaty of Dover." 
Charles and his brother, York, agreed to profess the Catholic 
faith at the proper moment, and meanwhile to join with 
France in an attack on Holland. Louis was to pay his royal 
ally £200,000 a year during the war. 

Charles confided the terms of his engagement with 
Louis to only two of his ministers, Clifford and Arling- 
ton, both Catholics at heart. The rest of the Cabal went on 
in ignorance of* the king's perfidy. By a Declaration of In- 
dulgence for dissenters the sovereign won their consent to 
the war with Holland (1672-1674). France immediately 
burst into the Low Countries, and commenced a career of 
conquest which promised the utter extinction of the Dutch 
Republic, while the English fleet engaged the Dutch admi- 
rals in the Channel. A revolution in the Netherlands raised 
William of Orange to the stadtholdership, and breathed a 
new spirit of resistance against the French. Ashley (Anthony 
Ashley Cooper) was made earl of Shaftesbury and lord 
chancellor (November, 1672), and became chief minister 
of the king. He was an old statesman of Cromwell's time, a 
leader of the Presbyterian party, and an unscrupulous politi- 
cian. As yet the secret of Dover treaty was undivulged, 
but in 1673 it was noticed with distrust that the king's gen- 
erals and admirals were Catholics, and that the soldiers of 
Protestant England were being employed to fight the battles 
of the French Catholic king. Even the Declaration of Indul- 

248 An Outline History of England. 

gence was suspected as a mask for Catholic toleration, 
and had to be revoked. Parliament had a deep horror of 
Catholic supremacy, and now passed a Test Act prescribing 
that all persons holding office must take oaths to which no 
Romanist could subscribe. Colors had to be shown. The 
Catholic James, Duke of York and heir to the throne, 
resigned the command of the fleet. Clifford quitted the 
Cabal, which fell to pieces, and a new ministry .was organized 
upon its ruins. Shaftesbury was deprived of office by the 
king himself; but in his place in the House of Lords he ex- 
erted his great abilities to compass the confusion of the king's 
plans by securing a Protestant successor to the throne. 

Sir Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby, was the leading min- 
ister of the crown from 1673 to the beginning of 1679, and 
his sincere desire to increase English influence among the 
Protestant States of Europe was again foiled by the trickery 
of his master. Danby brought about the marriage of York's 
Protestant daughter Mary with William of Orange (1677), 
hoping thus to provide a Protestant heir, as well as to bind 
together Holland and England (their war had closed in 1674) 
against the rapacity of Louis XIV. But Louis again took 
Charles into his pay, and while the English Parliament 
threatened France and voted supplies for an army the English 
king sold his country's honor for a pension. The peace of 
Nimeguen, 1678, removed the prospect of war. 

The discovery of an alleged conspiracy of Catholics to kill 
Charles and massacre Protestants terrified the nation, in 
September, 1678. A worthless renegade, Titus Oates, gave in- 
formation — now believed to have been perjured, but then re- 
ceived as conclusive — which led to the arrest, imprisonment, 
and execution of many innocent persons. Shaftesbury seized 
upon the popular panic over the " Popish Plot " to push 
forward his project of securing a Protestant successor for 
Charles. All Catholics w^ere excluded from membership in 
Parliament. Danby 's connection with the king's French 

The Commonwealth and the Restoration. 249 

intrigues was discovered and he was deposed. Shaftesbury 
again came to power and the "Long Parliament of the 
Restoration" (1661-1679) was finally dissolved. 

The Parliament of 1679 had been in session but a few 
months when the king dissolved it in order to thwart its 
evident purpose to exclude James, Duke of York, from the 
succession. Yet its brief existence is notable for the passage 
of the Act of Habeas Corpus, confirming one of the most 
precious rights of the English subject. By this law judges 
were obliged to grant the writ of habeas corpus — summon- 
ing a jailer to produce his prisoner in court and declare the 
reason of his confinement. It put a stop to illegal imprison- 
ment and secured speedy justice to the accused. 

The question of the succession was forced to the front by 
the increasing age of Charles and the absence of a legitimate 
son. His Catholic brother James was next of kin and James's 
daughters, Mary, Princess of Orange, and Anne, were Prot- 
estants both. Around these the court party formed itself. 
Shaftesbury selected the Protestant duke of Monmouth as his 
candidate for the succession. Monmouth was a gay and 
courtly prince, the eldest of several bastard sons of Charles. 
His father had given him command of the army against the 
persecuted Covenanters of Scotland, but afterward com- 
pelled him to go away from England as York had gone. 
Shaftesbury was again put out of office, but he redoubled his 
exertions in favor of Monmouth. The fierce party strife 
which followed gave the mime of Tory to the party which 
battled for the rights of James and his family, and Whig 
to the partisans of the Protestant duke. The Exclusion 
Bill unfitted Parliament for any other business, and three 
times the king dissolved the Houses to prevent its passage. 
Shaftesbury was arrested, but made his way to Holland, where 
he died in 1683, leaving'the nation to accomplish by revolu- 
tion the exclusion for which he had fought. 

For four years (1681-1685) Charles was free from discord- 

250 An Outline History of England. 

ant Parliaments. The pension of Louis XIV. supplied his 
ordinary financial necessities, and no war arose to swell 
his expenses. The Whig and Tory contest was fought 
out unremittingly. James was recalled to favor at court, 
and Monmouth was arrested (16S2). In 1683, the Whigs, 
having no longer the arm of Parliament to wield, resorted 
to force. Monmouth and others were implicated, unjustly, 
it is thought, in the Rye House Plot, a plan to murder the 
king and his brother at the Rye House on the Newmarket 
road. Its disclosure confounded the Whigs. Monmouth 
fled to Holland, others were executed. To exterminate the 
shattered party whose strength was in the towns, the old 
Presbyterian strongholds, Charles deprived borough corpora- 
tions of their charters. The new charters gave the crown con- 
trol of the boroughs, and so insured the election of royalist 
members in case another Parliament should be held. 

Death interrupted the plans of the new despotism (Feb- 
ruary 6, 1685), and in the supreme moment the wicked life 
of the pleasure-loving monarch. Prayers were offered for 
the dying voluptuary as they had been offered for the dying 
Puritan Cromwell. Deceiver to the last, he never owned his 
belief, though a priest of Rome was privately admitted to 
his room a few hours before his death. One of his mistresses, 
and all but one of his illegitimate offspring, watched about 
his bed, heard the last sally of his wit — an apology for being 
such a long time dying. Some ears caught his latest whisper, 
concerning another of his favorites, Nell Gwyn the actress, 
" Do not let poor Nelly starve ! " 

The English Revolution. 251 



At the death of Charles II. his brother, the duke of York, 
became king of England and Scotland Feb. 1685. James 
II. was past fifty and had been in public life for a score of 
years. As lord high admiral he had been an efficient 
though not a particularly brilliant officer until the Test Act 
of 1673 compelled him to confess his conversion to the 
Catholic faith. He then resigned and soon left the king- 
dom, returning, however, before his brother's death. 
Although a bigoted Catholic in his later years, James 
had early married Lord Clarendon's daughter Anne Hyde, 
and their two children, Mary and Anne, were firmly Prot- 
estant. Both ladies had Protestant husbands. The beauti- 
ful and gentle Mary married the far-sighted and able William 
of Orange, governor (or stadtholder) of the Dutch Repub- 
lic, and Anne, indolent and good-natured herself, was 
mated with the insignificant Prince George of Denmark. 
Mary of Modena, the king's second wife, was a Catholic 
and had as yet borne him no children. 

The apprehension which pervaded England at the thought 
of a Catholic sovereign was allayed by several considera- 
tions. James swore to maintain the Church of England un- 
changed. The Church had stood by his father and had gen- 
erally been found loyal. The nation believed that the king 
would keep his word. Even if he proved faithless, his suc- 
cessor, the Protestant Mary, would set all 4 things right. But 
James was no more trustworthy than his brother had been; 

252 Ax Outlixe History of Exgland. 

he broke the promises of his coronation oath, reversing the 
laws, refusing to consult with Parliament, accepting a secret 
subsidy from Louis XIV., and striving by the roughest tyr- 
anny to establish the Catholic religion and his own absolute 
authority. After four years of his cruel despotism his sub- 
jects deserted him, and, by the revolution of 1688, drove him 
from the throne. 

The year 1685 was eventful. The Scottish Parliament 
met in April, and passed a barbarous law against those who 
attended any other than the Episcopal Church. Death and 
forfeiture of property was the penalty for preaching in 
a private room or of attending an open-air meeting or con- 
venticle. To take the solemn oath of the Covenant was 
treason. The Covenanters were persecuted with merciless 
zeal by Graham of Claverhouse, a colonel of dragoons, soon 
named the " Bloody Claverhouse." The English Parliament 
met in May. The recent changes in the borough charters 
gave the court party, the Tories, control of the House of 
Commons. They did as the king pleased, granting him ample 
revenues, and confirming his title to the throne by new laws 
for the punishment of treason. 

The party struggles, revolutions, and conspiracies of the 
past few years had sent many Englishmen and Scots into 
enforced or voluntary exile. Among these were the Scottish 
earl of Argyle, and the English duke of Monmouth. Argyle 
was the son of the great marquis who had lent the aid of 
Scotland to the English Parliament against Charles I., and 
Monmouth was that illegitimate son of Charles II. in whose 
favor Shaftesbury had endeavored to exclude the duke of 
York from the succession. The banished men gathered a 
few followers in Holland. In May Argyle landed in the 
west of Scotland and summoned to his aid his clansmen, 
the Campbells, and all others who wished to overthrow the 
prosecuting Parliament and abolish the episcopacy. Only 
Clan Campbell rallied to their chief, and they were soon dis- 

The English Revolution. 253 

perscd. Argyle was taken and executed June 30, 1G85. Mon- 
mouth's expedition had the same end. The duke landed in 
Dorset with eighty men. He issued a braggart proclamation 
charging James II. with tyranny, papistry, conspiracy, and 
the murder of Charles II. Monmouth asserted that Charles 
was his lawful father, and that he, and not James, should 
wear the crown. But the Whig nobles who had once upheld 
the "Protestant Duke " were for ^ivin^ James a trial. West 
of England miners, artisans, and peasants to the number of 
six thousand joined Monmouth, but the lords and gentry held 
aloof. On July 6, 1685, the royal army scattered the peas- 
ant force in the Battle of Sedgemoor — the last battle fought 
in England. Monmouth tried to escape, but was captured 
and beheaded eight days later. Colonel Kirke's fierce sol- 
diery, called " Kirke's Lambs," from the figure of a lamb 
which graced their banner, had killed in cold blood all the 
fugitives whom they could find after the fight, but their 
atrocities did not slake the king's thirst for revenge. He 
sent the most brutal of his judges, the drunken Chief-Justice 
Jeffreys, to try the cases of the rebels. This court, called 
" the bloody assize," condemned three hundred persons to 
execution, and three times as many were sold into slavery. 

The cruelty with which the rebellions had been crushed had 
its effect when Parliament assembled for its autumnal session. 
It was noticed, moreover, that the king leaned more upon the 
counsels of his father confessor, the Jesuit Petre, and other 
Romanists than upon his ministers of state. News came also 
that Louis XIV., the king's friend and model, had revoked 
the Edict of Nantes, by which Henry of Navarre (159S) had 
granted tolerance to the French Protestants. More than fifty 
thousand Huguenot families emigrated in consequence of the 
revocation, many settling in Holland, many more in England 
and America. English Protestants took warning. Parliament 
granted the king funds for the support of a standing army, 
but rejected his demand for repeal of the Test Act, which pre- 

254 An Outline History of England. 

vented him from giving office to Catholics. James adjourned 
the sitting on November 27, and did not again assemble the 
two Houses. 

With the army at his back, and a corps of subservient 
judges to decide upon the legality of his course, the king felt 
able to dispense with Parliaments. It had long been con- 
sidered lawful for the sovereign to dispense with the action 
of laws to a certain slight degree, and James now pushed this 
prerogative to its utmost. In 1686 he dispensed with the Test 
Act, giving office to a papist. The courts decided that the 
appointment was valid. The English clergy took alarm at 
the extension of Catholic influence. The king attended mass 
himself and treated the Romanists with distinction. Pulpits 
which denounced Catholic doctrines were to be disciplined, 
and a new court of ecclesiastical commission, of which 
Jeffreys was one, was set up to enforce the submission of the 
English Church. In 1687 papists were placed in the university 
faculties. Monasteries and Jesuit schools were opened in 
London, and were largely attended. 

Making use of his confirmed authority to dispense with the 
laws the king raised Petre and several Catholic peers to his 
council, following this with a wholesale dispensation — the 
" Declaration of Liberty of Conscience," granting indulgence 
to all sects, Protestant and Catholic, in England and Scotland- 
issued in April, 1687. Just a year later this declaration was 
repealed. The Protestant clergy refused to read the declara- 
tion. Archbishop Sancroft, and Bishops Ken, Lake, Lloyd, 
Turner, Trelawney, and White — "the seven bishops" — 
petitioned the king not to insist upon obedience to his illegal 
order. They were imprisoned in the tower for uttering a 
"false, malicious, and seditious libel." 

Before the day of the bishops' trial the nation was startled 
by the news that the queen had borne a son (June 10, 1688). 
The birth of a prince meant disinheritance to the princesses 
Mary and Anne, upon whom the Protestant hopes were fixed. 

The English Revolution. 255 

It was immediately asserted that the queen was not the mother 
of the boy — James Francis Edward Stuart, as he was 
christened — but that it was a supposititious child procured to 
trick the nation of its rightful ruler. In the midst of the 
popular uproar the seven bishops were acquitted, June 30, 
1688. London ran wild with delight, and even the royal 
troops stationed at Hounslow to overawe the city cheered the 
verdict in the very face of the king. 

All parties were, in fact, deserting the despot. The Whigs 
had long looked upon James's son-in-law, William of Orange, 
as the king's successor, and now the Church of England and 
the Tories turned to the same deliverer. On the day of the 
bishops' acquittal Admiral Herbert bore to Holland a secret 
invitation to William to save England from her ruler. Seven 
representative signatures were affixed to tins famous document: 
"The Whig earl of Devonshire, the Tory earl of Danbv, 
the earl of Shrewsbury, Bishop Compton, of London ; the 
republican Henry Sidney, Lord Lumley, of the army, and 
Edward Russell, of the navy." These "seven eminent 
persons," or " seven patriots," told the Dutch stadtholder that 
if he would come over with an army he would be welcomed 
by the nation as a deliverer. 

William of Orange was then thirty-eight years of age; 
physically weak, but a good soldier and wise statesman. To 
circumscribe the ambition of Louis XIV. by forming a 
European league was the object of his careful diplomacy, and 
it was a part of his plan to add England to the league. As 
the husband of the Princess Mary he had a right to expect at 
least to share the English throne at her father's death. The 
birth of the prince James Edward destroyed this expectation 
and opened the way to another. The invitation of the seven 
patriots confirmed the Dutch ruler's purpose to interfere in 
English affairs. In October he issued a declaration to the 
people of England setting forth their grievances, civil and 
religious, and casting doubt upon the genuineness of the 

256 An Outline History of England. 

new-born prince. By request of eminent persons he had de- 
cided to come to England with an army, not for conquest, but 
to secure the assembling of a Parliament in which the people 
might redress their own wrongs. On the 1st of November, 
1688, the Dutch fleet, with the king and fourteen thousand 
troops, set sail, landing on the 5th — Guy Fawkes day — at 
Torbay, in the west of England. 

Too late James discovered what he had lost. In October 
he had made a supreme endeavor to regain the support of the 
Church and the Tories by abolishing his court of ecclesiastical 
commission, by proving the birth of his son, and by promising 
to call a Parliament. Then he called the officers of his army 
together and received their oaths of loyalty. Meanwhile the 
country was rising to welcome William. The towns of the 
north deserted the king, and the gentry of the west flocked 
to the army of invasion. William kept his men strictly in 
hand. Plunder and outrage were forbidden, and the nation 
was impressed with the truth of the commander's assertion 
that he came as a friend. There was little work for troops. 
John Churchill and his fellow generals, who had sworn to 
die for their king, deserted to William. Kirke led his regi- 
ment of "lambs" into the Dutch fold. Even the Princess 
Anne, influenced by her friend Sarah Jennings, Churchill's 
wife, deserted her father's waning cause. " God help me," 
said the saddened king, " my own children forsake me." 
Having sent the queen and his infant son to France (Decem- 
ber 10), he tried to make his own escape, but was taken and 
sent back to London. But William, who had now led his 
forces to the capital, wished to avoid Cromwell's task of 
dealing with a captive king, and no tears were shed when 
James eluded his guards and fled across the Channel (Decem- 
ber 22, 1088). v Louis XIV. received him with favor in 
France, granted him the royal residence of St. Germains and 
a munificent revenue to support a royal court. 

In January, 1689, after a few weeks of a provisional gov- 

The English Revolution. 257 

ernment, William assembled a " Convention Parliament," 
in accordance with the advice of his English friends. The 
Commons forthwith voted, and the Lords agreed, that James 
by misgovernment had forfeited his right to the throne, and 
" that it hath been found inconsistent with the safety and wel- 
fare of this Protestant kingdom to be governed by a popish 
prince." After some negotiations the crown was offered to 
William and Mary jointly, February 13, 1G89, and accepted 
by them. At the same time Parliament presented a Declara- 
tion of Rights,* intended as a fresh definition and limitation 
of the royal authority. Nearly every right therein asserted 
had been transgressed by the Stuart kings. 

King William, for he exercised the chief power although 
his wife held equal rank, made up his cabinet of advisers 
impartially from the Whig and Tory lords. In March, 1G89, 
Parliament and clergy took the oaths of allegiance to Will- 
iam and Mary. A few refused to swear, and two years later 
six bishops and several hundred rectors were deprived of 
their livings as "non-jurors." 

This first Parliament of the joint reign enacted a number 
of laws of the greatest interest and importance. A new sys- 
tem of finance was needed. A new law now made it neces- 
sary for the exchequer to present to Parliament each year an 
itemized estimate of the expense of administration for the 

* This document declared: 1. That it is illegal for the king to make laws 
or suspend their action without consent of Parliament. 2. That the king 
may not grant dispensations from the laws. 3. That the Court of Ecclesi- 
astical Commission and others like it are unlawful. 4. That the king may 
not raise money without the consent of Parliament. 5. That it is lawful to 
petition the sovereign. 6. That no standing army may be maintained with- 
out the consent of Parliament. 7. That private persons may keep anus. 
8. That Parliamentary elections must be free. 9. That parliamentary debate 
must be Dee. 10. That excessive bail shall never be demanded from an 
accused person. 11. That every trial shall be by jury. 12. That grants 
of estates as forfeited before the conviction of the offender are illegal. 
13. That Parliament shall be held frequently. 

258 An Outline History of England. 

year to come. To meet these expenses the Houses appro- 
priated sums of money. In this way the control of the na- 
tional expenditure was confided to the representatives of the 
people. Another law, the Mutiny Act, settled the dan- 
gerous question of the support of the standing army. The 
royal officers were given power for one year to enforce dis- 
cipline. As this act is renewed annually, and the money for 
the pay of the troops is appropriated annually, it is neces- 
sary for the king to assemble Parliament at least once a year. 
The Declaration of Rights which the convention had issued 
became a statute law known as the Bill of Rights. It further 
confirmed the title of William and Mary, and declared that 
no papist should ever reign in England. 

The merely personal union of England and Scotland was 
dissolved by the deposition of James II.; but a majority of 
the Scots preferred William to a Stuart king, and in* March, 
1689, offered the crown of Scotland to the joint sovereigns 
of England. William accepted for himself and his queen, 
and they were proclaimed in Edinburgh in April. The Pres- 
byterian Kirk was re-established, and in many places the 
Covenanters, exasperated by long oppression, expelled with 
insult and abuse the clergy of the older Church. Graham 
of Claverhouse, the hated trooper, now Viscount Dundee, took 
refuge in the Highlands, and gathered the mountain clans in 
the name of King James. But Dundee fell in the pass of 
Killiecrankie, July 17, 1689, and the Highland forces were 
dispersed. Sir John Dalrymple of Stair was made William's 
representative in the northern kingdom. 

The pacification of the north was accomplished in 1691. 
William offered pardon to all chiefs who should disarm and 
take the oath of allegiance before January 1, 1692. All sub- 
mitted except the small Clan Macdonald, dwelling in the 
valley of Glencoe. The Macdonalds did not yield until six 
days later, and Dalrymple had meanwhile gained William's 
signature to an order " to extirpate that sept of thieves." 

The English Revolution. 259 

Soldiers were immediately stationed in the glen, and on 
February 13,1692, executed the fatal order. Forty unarmed 
men were slain, and women and children were driven out 
into the snow to perish. This was the famous Massacre of 

The pacification of Ireland was a more difficult task. It 
had been the policy of James II. to build up in that island 
a power upon which he might rely if driven from England. 
Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel, was his representative 
there. He was a Catholic, of Norman-Irish descent, and an 
unscrupulous adventurer. He purged the Irish military and 
civil service of Protestants, and raised and drilled a large 
army devoted to James and the Roman Catholic Church. 
Having completed these preparations the earl offered his sup- 
port to the fugitive king. 

TyrconnePs invitation to come to Ireland reached King 
James in his retreat at St. Germain's. Louis XIV. of France 
approved of the project, and gave him arms and treas- 
ure. In March, 1689, James joined Tyrconnel. The panic- 
stricken Irish Protestants crowded into the poorly defended 
towns of Londonderry and Enniskillen, and, though beset by 
James with overwhelming numbers, held out for months. 
Their sufferings were terrible and their conduct heroic. 
Walker, a Protestant minister, inspired the garrison of 
Londonderry to keep their " no-surrender " flag flying until 
help came. Famine and fever came first, but when only two 
days' rations remained a merchant vessel from the English 
fleet broke the boom across the River Foyle, and relieved the 
sufferers. James's French lieutenant raised the siege August 
1, 1689. On the same day the Enniskilleners put their Irish 
besiegers to flight at Newtown Butler. 

In 1690 King William himself came over to Ireland to 
try conclusions with James. Schomberg, William's gener- 
al, had a large army, composed of Englishmen and Ulster- 
men, who wore the orange colors of the Dutch king of 

200 An Outline History of England. . 

England. The army of James was inferior in numbers. On 
July 1, 1690, the two armies met in the Battle of the Boyne. 
William, though slightly wounded, fought at the head of his 
men. James watched the combat from a distance, and when 
the broken lines of the Frenchmen fled after the flying Irish 
the discouraged king spurred his horse toward Dublin, 
whence lie took ship for France. William returned to England 
to conduct the war which France had now declared against him. 
His generals in Ireland were opposed by the brave and be- 
loved Patrick Sarsfield. In 109 1 even Sarsfield had to yield. 
But by the treaty of Limerick he secured the privilege for his 
soldiers to enter the French service. Ten thousand Irish 
exiles thereby passed into the armies of France. 

William's continental policy brought on the French war. 
His aim was to check the ambition of France, which under 
Louis XIV. was the most formidable State in Europe. In 
1(586 he had formed the League of Augsburg, which had 
held Louis's hands in Germany while the Dutch fleet was 
bearing the stadtholder to England. In 1689 William added 
Holland and England to the Augsburg combination, forming 
the " Grand Alliance." The German emperor, the king of 
Spain, and the duke of Savoy agreed with William to curb 
the power of Louis and strip him of his conquests. 

After two years of indecisive fighting on land and sea, in 
1692 Louis gathered the full military strength of his king- 
dom to shake oft' his assailants. One army was told off for 
the invasion of England, while 100,000 Frenchmen faced 
William in the Netherlands. England's peril encouraged 
James, and he called upon his loyal English to welcome the 
French. But the invaders never crossed the Channel ; 

" On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two, 
Did the English fight the French — woe to France ! " 

and Lord Russell so shattered Admiral Tourville's fleet that 
the plan of invasion had to be abandoned. The land cam- 

The English Revolution. 261 

paign in the Netherlands was indecisive. England was 
saved for the time being, but the object of the Alliance was 
not attained. 

In fact the greatest of English generals was in disgrace. 
John Churchill, or Marlborough, as he may now be known, 
chafed under restraint. His treachery to James had not 
been rewarded so richly as his judgment demanded, and from 
William, who was inclined to favor his Dutch commanders 
at the expense of the English, the unscrupulous genius turned 
again to James. But the correspondence was discovered and 
in January, 1G29, Churchill was stripped of his offices. With- 
out him the English armies were unsuccessful. 

Parliament had made itself essential to the government, 
and during this reign and all succeeding it was assembled 
with regularity. The legislation of the reign added enor- 
mously to the safeguards upon English liberty. The griev- 
ances which had been the burden of the Stuart Parliaments 
were redressed by process of law under the equable and just 
rule of William. In his second Parliament (1G90-1695) the 
Tories were in the majority. Their favor inclined toward 
the Stuart party. The allowances of money to the king 
were cut down, and the former supporters of James IT. were 
pardoned by an Act of Grace. William's plan of choosing 
his ministers from the leaders of the two parties had created 
discord, and in 1693, on the advice of Lord Sunderland, one of 
James's traitorous counselors, the king formed a new cab- 
inet, selecting all the members from the Whigs. In this 
Whig "junto " were Somers, the jurist, and Montague, the 

The latter minister carried out several important projects. 
In 1692-1693 the treasury had failed to make both ends 
meet, and a large deficit resulted. Montague and Parliament 
met the difficulty by the experiment, new to English finance, 
of borrowing money on interest. A loan of £1,000,000 was 
contracted at 10 per cent. This was the beginning of the 

2C2 Ax Outline History of England. 

English national debt. At the next session (1693-1694) the 
deficit recurred, and a company of London merchants helped 
the exchequer to meet its obligations by a loan of £1,200,000. 
The subscribers to the loan were granted certain privileges 
which they have since retained as the " Governor and Com- 
pany of the Bank of England." The shrewd mind of Will- 
iam Patcrson, a Scot, first suggested to Montague the plan of 
this bank, which now, ''the old lady of Threadneedle Street/' 
i> the world's strongest banking institution. 

The Triennial Act of 1694 math* it obligatory for the king 
to order a general election for members of Parliament at least 
once in three years. This period was later extended to seven 
years by a law still in force. The Long Parliament of 
Charles I. had gagged the press by an act requiring all prints 
to be licensed. Miltoirs free spirit had protested against 
this restriction upon writing, bnt the law was enforced with 
some degree of strictness until 1695, when it lapsed, and Par- 
liament declined to renew it. Xewspapers sprang up as soon 
as the old law perished. 

The gentle Queen Mary, still young, beautiful, and devot- 
ed, fell a victim to the small-pox Dec. 28, 1694, and her 
impassive husband confessed with tears that he was now 
" the miserablest of earth's creatures." 

The war in the Spanish Netherlands dragged heavily. In 
1693 William lost the battle of Neerwinden; in 1695 he re- 
took Xamur. France was distressed by the constant drain 
of men and money, and in 1697 (Sept. 20) Louis consented to 
the compromise Peace of Ryswick, by which he recognized 
the sovereignty of William in England and the right of the 
Princess Anne to succeed him. 

At the dawn of peace the English Parliament awoke to 
the feeling that England had been used to forward the in- 
terests of Holland. Measures were undertaken which re- 
buked the policy of the king. The army was reduced, and 
the Dutch troops sent home. The grants of Irish lands 

The English Revolution. 263 

which William had made to his countrymen wore annulled. 
All these annoyances showed William that the English peo- 
ple, who had welcomed his aid to stamp out the Stuart tyr- 
anny, were dissatisfied with the rule of a foreigner. But 
toward the close of his life an event took place which showed 
the English how vitally they were concerned with the affairs 
of Europe, and how wise had been the rule of their Dutch 

The question of " the Spanish succession " * had perplexed 
the courts of western Europe for a generation. The royal 
family of Spain was dying out. Charles II. was childless, 
and it was his right to dispose of his immense possessions at 
his death. By intermarriage the ruling family in Spain were 
related to the ruling families of both France and the German 
Empire. That the Spanish dominions should pass entire, 
either to Louis XIV. or to the Emperor Leopold I., was un- 
bearable to the other European states, among whose states- 
men the modern theory of preserving peace by maintaining 
the " balance of power " was now taking form. To disarm 
opposition, therefore, Louis and Leopold renounced their 
own claims to the inheritance, the one asking that his sec- 
ond son, the Archduke Charles, be made heir, the other 
claiming the crown for his second grandson, Philip of Anjou. 


PHILIP III. of Spain. 


I I I 

Anna, Maria Anna, 

m. Louis XIII. of France. Philip IV. of Spain. . m. Ferdinand, 


Ill II 

Louis XIV. of France=Maria Charles II. of Spain, Margaret Theresa= Leopold, 
| Theresa. d. 1700. Emperor. 

Louis (dauphin). Maximilian=Maria Antoinette. 

| Elector of Bavaria. I 

(2d son.) 
Philip, Joseph, Charles, 


to whom Charles willed proposed by first partition for whom England, 

his crown, for whom the treaty for king of Spain, Holland, and the 
French fought, and whom but died 1699. Empire fought, 

peace left king of Spain, Afterward Emperor 

Philip V. Charles VI. (1711). 

264 An Outline History of England. 

Joseph, electoral prince of Bavaria, a grandson of Leopold 
and a kinsman of Charles II., was a third claimant. 

The powers of Europe undertook to settle the succession 
themselves, and while they were planning to divide the Span- 
ish possessions the king suddenly died (November, 1700), and 
made Philip of Anjou his sole heir. 

Louis XIV. saw his wildest dreams of dominion about to 
be realized. France and Spain were practically united. 
" The Pyrenees exist no longer," said the exultant Louis to 
his grandson, as he set out for his royal inheritance. 

The impending absorption of the Spanish monarchy by the 
ambition of Louis frustrated all that William of Orange had 
given his life to secure. But the Hollander's spirit was un- 
conquerable, and he faced the new danger with the old de- 
termination. The recklessness of Louis aided his enemies. 
At the bedside of the exiled James II. of England, who lay 
dying at St. Germains, the French monarch renewed his prom- 
ise of friendship, and recognized his son, James Francis Ed- 
ward Stuart (known as the " Old Pretender " ), as the rightful 
king of England. 

The news that France had again espoused the Stuart cause 
aroused the patriotism of England, and a new Parliament 
enthusiastically supported William in his policy of war. The 
occupation of the Spanish Netherlands by French' troops 
menaced Holland and aroused the Dutch Republic. The 
emperor, whose grandson had been slighted, was eager for re- 
venge. A common purpose united the three countries, and 
under William's direction the " Grand Alliance " was revived 
in September, 1701, to place the archduke on the Spanish 
throne, to expel France from the Netherlands and the Indies, 
and to prevent the union of the French and Spanish crowns. 
Before hostilities opened William had died, March 8, 1702. 

Anne Stuart, younger daughter of James II. and Anne 
Hyde, was immediately proclaimed queen. Her husband, 
George of Denmark, of whom his uncle Charles II. said he 

The English Revolution. 205 

had " tried him drunk and sober and found nothing," received 
no share in the government. Anne came to the throne at a 
fortunate time for her reputation. Her subjects loved the 
good-natured, slow-minded, matronly Englishwoman, and 
called her "good Queen Anne." 

Between the Princess Anne and Sarah Jennings, a lady of 
the court, had long existed the closest intimacy, and the 
brilliant mind of the latter held the other as if bewitched. 
Sarah Jennings had married John Churchill, Lord Marl- 
borough, the young officer who had betrayed James II. His 
ability was so undoubted that the dying king had no better 
advice for Anne than that she should take Marlborough's 
advice in the conduct of the war of the Spanish succession, 
which was his baleful bequest. 

Anne had not been queen a week before the earl of Marl- 
borough was commander-in-chief of all the English land forces. 
Without hesitation he opened the campaign in the Spanish 
Netherlands and struck France a smarting blow on that fron- 
tier. No English general from Edward the Black Prince 
to the duke of Wellington won such successes from the 
French as did John Churchill (made duke of Marlborough in 
reward for the victories of 1702) in the next ten years of the 
war. He was formed by nature to win the regard of men. 
Singularly beautiful of countenance, of fine figure and grace- 
ful carriage, his outward appearance united with his words 
and actions to charm all with whom he had to do. He was 
cool in the moment of battle, fearless but not courting 
danger, careful of the lives of his men, watchful of the 
sick and wounded, and merciful to his prisoners of Avar. 
To his wife he was attached by the tenderest affection, 
fearing her displeasure more than the French cannon. 
Yet this great man's character was disfigured by some of 
the meanest of human failings. He was unutterably selfish. 
He won victories not for England nor for the righteous 
cause in which he fought, but for his own glory. To be 

266 An Outline History of England. 

the greatest and richest man in the kingdom was the summit 
of his ambition. 

Queen Anne accepted Marlborough's friend, Lord Godol- 
phin, as her chief minister, and he ably co-operated with the 
general by supplying men and money for the campaigns. 
The United Provinces (Holland) intrusted their forces also 
to the English leader. The commander of the emperor's 
northern army was a dashing soldier, Prince Eugene of 
Savoy, and a generous and hearty friendship soon united the 
two generals. In 1704 they won their first great success. 
Louis had dispatched an army eastward through friendly 
Bavaria to strike Vienna, the capital of the empire. Marl- 
borough divined the purpose of the maneuver and, regardless 
of hampering instructions, he led his army into Germany 
and, joining Eugene, intercepted the French and Bavarian 
army near Blenheim on the Danube, August 13, 1704. The 
duke's personal charge at the head of eight thousand cavalry 
broke the weakened center of the foe, and decided the bat- 
tle. There had not been such a harvest of French lilies in 
the sixty years of Louis's reign. Two thirds of the king's 
troops were slain or taken captive, and their marshal him- 
self was among the eleven thousand prisoners. England re- 
warded Marlborough Avith the royal manor of Woodstock, 
and built the palace of Blenheim for his residence. 

Marlborough's campaigns were all in the north, but the 
allies attacked France on every side. A few weeks before 
Blenheim the fortress of Gibraltar had surrendered (July 24, 
1704) to an English fleet, and in the succeeding year Lord 
Peterborough, a profligate genius, captured Barcelona. 

On May 23, 1706, Marlborough with sixty thousand 
men defeated Marshal Villeroy at Ramillies, in Brabant 
(Belgium), so thoroughly that all French strongholds of the 
Netherlands — Antwerp, Brussels, Ostend, Ghent, Bruges — 
yielded with scarcely a show of resistance. 

Disaster marked the succeeding years. Disagreements 

The English Revolution. 207 

between too many masters kept Marlborough and Eugene 
idle for a time, but in 1708 they were again companions in 
arms. Together they crushed the French Army of the 
North at Oudenarde, July 11, 1708, and together besieged 
and reduced the fortress of Lille. 

France now sought for peace; Louis was willing to aban- 
don all his conquests, but to one humiliating condition he 
would not stoop. His grandson Philip, the accepted sover- 
eign of a large portion of Spain, refused to yield his crown, 
and Louis indignantly rejected the demand of the allies that 
he should expel him with French troops. " If light I must," 
said the hard-pressed Louis, " I will fight my enemies rather 
than my own children." Negotiations failed, and the bank- 
rupt and starving French nation took up arms with new zeal 
in a more righteous cause. 

Marlborough's troops felt the new temper of the metal at 
Malplaquet (September, 1709). The English won, but with 
tremendous loss. " God grant such another defeat," reported 
the French marshal to his king, " and your majesty could count 
your enemies destroyed." Ten thousand Frenchmen were 
dead, but the allies had lost twenty thousand. This was the 
last great battle, though peace was not declared until 1713. 

While the "duke of Marlborough and our good Prince 
Eugene " were winning great praises on continental battle- 
fields, England had other business than voting supplies and 
sending re-enforcements across the Channel. Party struggles 
— Whig and Tory — were enlivening island politics and vexing 
the Court. Queen Anne was naturally a Tory, a strong sup- 
porter of the Established Church, and opposed to the war, 
though the power of Sarah Churchill's will prolonged her 
support of Marlborough. 

Immediately after Anne's ascension the Scotch began to 
cast about for an heir to their throne. They had accepted 
the English sovereigns William and Mary and Queen Anne, 
but they did not fully accept the Act of Settlement (1701) 

263 An Outline History of England. 

which fixed the succession in the line of Sophia of Hanover 
and her Protestant descendants. They demanded that the 
wearer of the Scottish crown should guarantee to the nation 
its existing religion, and freedom of trade. Commissioners of 
both nations met in London, in 1706, to discuss a plan of 
union; they were remarkably successful, and on May 1, 1707, 
the two kingdoms — England and Scotland — became the one 
kingdom of Great Britain, with a common sovereign accord- 
ing to the Act of Settlement, a common Parliament, and a 
common coinage. Scottish law and the Scottish Church re- 
mained unchanged. The " Old Pretender," James Edward 
Stuart, came over in 1708 to profit by the Scottish dissatis- 
faction with the union, but the Jacobites, as his partisans were 
called, gave hihi no support and he went back unrequited. 

The length and expense of the war told upon its popular- 
ity. The Whigs, who had been Churchill's main support in 
England, gradually lost power and influence. The queen 
drew closer to the Tory leaders, Robert Harley and Henry 
St. John. 

St. John, afterward Viscount Bolingbroke, was a noted 
infidel, a writer of merit, and an accomplished statesman. Har- 
ley was of ignoble parts, but surpassed in " back-stairs poli- 
tics." To cancel Lady Marlborough's influence with the 
queen he pressed his cousin, Abigail Hill, an attendant of the 
palace, upon Anne's favor. The ruse was successful. The 
gentle Abigail (afterward Lady Masham) gradually sup- 
planted the haughty Sarah. In 1710 Lord Godolphin, Marl- 
borough's friend and English agent, was dismissed from the 
royal council with all his Whig colleagues, and in 1711 Har- 
ley took Godolphin's office as prime minister with the title 
earl of Oxford and Mortimer. 

Marlborough came back to London to stay the storm if 
possible. The archduke Charles, for whom the allies had 
been fighting, had unexpectedly become emperor (1711), and 
neither England nor Holland now wished to add Spain to 

The English Revolution. 2G9 

his possessions. So the war languished; indeed, the Tories 
were secretly treating for peace with King Louis. The 
duke's hopes were bound up in the war, but a personal letter 
from. Anne dashed them to despair. The queen dismissed 
him from all his offices on charge of embezzling military 
funds. He denied the accusation but left the kingdom. 

The Tories pressed for peace. Possessing a majority in 
the Commons they fretted for the upper House until the 
queen created twelve new Tory peers— Abigail Hill's hus- 
band, Mr. Masham, among them. With Parliament under 
close rein the Tory plan was carried out. The Peace of 
Utrecht, which closed the Avar of the Spanish succession, was 
formally signed in March, 1713. Few of its many articles 
deserve place here. Philip of Anjou, the grandson of Louis 
XIV., was confirmed as King Philip V. of Spain, whose 
throne his Bourbon descendant, Alfonso XIII., still occupies. 
France renounced its support of the Stuart pretenders, and 
formally recognized the Protestant settlement of the English 
succession. Great Britain gained Nova Scotia, Newfound- 
land, Gibraltar, and a few less important territories. 

The Protestant succession, which was confirmed so many 
times in unions, settlements, and treaties, seems to have stood 
in some slight hazard in England itself as the time of its 
realization drew near. Anne, the widowed mother of seven- 
teen children, had in 1714 survived them all. Her apprehen- 
sions for the safety of the Church had been soothed by the 
law of 1711 to suppress the "occasional conformity" by which 
dissenting candidates for public office had smothered their 
consciences for a day and taken the Episcopal communion as 
the Test and Corporation acts required. Three years later 
Bolingbroke's harsher " Schism Act " was passed with the 
intention of disqualifying dissenting teachers. But the queen's 
sudden death left the law unproclaimed and void. 

The death of the Electress Sophia left her son George 
Louis heir to the English throne. He was fifty-four years old, 

2 TO An Outline History of England. 

was nominally a Protestant, but could speak no English, and 
knew little and cared less about the government of England. 
Many Englishmen shrank from calling in such a king. The 
Jacobites, ever plotting, hoped to bring in the Pretender, and 
they were encouraged to think that Lord Bolingbroke in the 
cabinet meant to effect their object. Whether this was 
Bolingbroke's purpose or not must remain doubtful, but it is 
certain that he had a bitter quarrel with Lord Oxford (Har- 
ley) in the royal presence which resulted in Oxford's imme- 
diate dismissal. The excitement gave the queen a stroke of 
apoplexy. And while the court and London were in an up- 
roar, Whig and Tory and Jacobite contending, Anne gave 
the badge of the prime minister's office to the duke of 
Shrewsbury, one of the " seven patriots " who had signed the 
invitation to William in 1G88. His selection settled the 
question of the succession in favor of the Protestant House 
of Brunswick. Queen Anne breathed her last August 1, 
1714, and George the First was quietly proclaimed king of 
Great Britain and Ireland. 

House of Hanover, or Brunswick. 271 




King George I. was born in Germany, of German parents, 
in the year of the Restoration (16G0), and although he had 
traveled far and fought well in the armies of the empire he 
had never set foot in England until September 18, 1714, when 
he landed as king of Great Britain and Ireland. From his 
father, Ernest Augustus, George had inherited the duchy of 
Brunswick-Lilneburg and the electorate of Hanover. The 
duchy was one of the numerous states of the German Empire, 
and its duke was also electoral prince of Hanover, one of the 
princes who voted at the election of the emperor ; hence the 
royal family of England is known, from one title or the other, 
as the House of " Hanover " or of " Brunswick." * From his 
mother, the Electress Sophia, George inherited whatever rights 


I I 

CHARLES I. ^beheaded 1649). Elizabeth, 

| m. Frederick V., Elector Palatine, 

j j j and " Winter king of Bohemia." 


m. William II. (deposed 1U88). I I 

of Orange. (4.) Rupert. (12.) Sophia, 

j m. Ernest Augustus, 

Elector of Hanover. 
WILLIAM III.=MARY. ANNE. James Fr. Edward | 

> , ' " Old Pretender." GEORGE I. 

Protestants. I 


Charles Edward, Henry, etc. 

" Young Pretender," Cardinal York. | 

d. 1788. | Protectants. 


272 Ax Outline History of England. 

lie had to the English throne. The Act of Settlement (1"01) 
declared that, Queen Anne dying childless, the crown should 
go to Sophia, and to her Protestant descendants after her. 
Sophia, it need scarcely be repeated, was a sister of Rupert 
the cavalier, a daughter of Elizabeth of Bohemia, and a grand- 
daughter of James I. of England. 

George had hitherto been very much his own master in 
his little Brunswick duchy, but the Parliament had built up 
such a barrier against royal authority in England that neither 
this monarch nor his son and successor took much trouble to 
get through it or climb over it. Finding that the English 
were bent upon governing themselves by means of Parliament 
and royal ministers George prudently refused to interfere. 
So he made up a cabinet from the Whigs, to whom he owed 
a debt of gratitude, and intrusted the government to them 
while he drew his allowances from the treasury, took his 
pleasure with his Brunswick cronies, and managed the affairs 
of the home duchy to the best of his very commonplace 

The closing events of Anne's reign gave ground for the 
charge that the Tory leaders had plotted to betray the crown 
to the Pretender, and the national aversion to the Catholic 
Stuarts gave the Whigs a long lease of power. Parliament 
impeached Anne's ministers — Bolingbroke, Oxford, and 
Ormond (Marlborough's successor) — and quelled the Jacobite 
tumults in the towns by passing the Riot Act (1715), which 
made it felony for an unlawful assembly not to disperse 
after the "reading of the riot act " by a magistrate. 

Bolingbroke and Ormond escaped. Oxford went to the 
Tower, but the riots presaged a new Stuart rising. The 
Scottish earl of Mar, then a Jacobite, although he turned his 
coat more than once, roused the Highlanders to renew the 
light for the Pretender, James Edward. Six thousand clans- 
men, wearing the white cockade, joined him ; but he proved 
a worthless leader. Delaying until his enemy Argyle 

House of Hanover, or Brunswick. 273 

gathered a royal army, he was beaten at Sheriffmuir. In 
December the Pretender arrived in Scotland to find his cause 
mismanaged and lost ; so he betook him nimbly back to 
France to bide his time. A few north of England gentle- 
men who had recklessly shown their Jacobite colors being 
captured in arms died as traitors — twenty-eight of them in 
all. In 1717, 1718, and 1719 the Pretender and his friends 
made other fruitless attempts to regain the crown, but from 
1715 to 1745 the throne was not seriously imperiled. 

The first care of the Whig ministers had been to rid them- 
selves of the Tory leaders. Their next work was to perpetu- 
ate their own control. The Parliament in which they had a 
majority was soon to expire by the limitation of the Triennial 
Act. The Whigs were so well satisfied with the bird in the 
hand that, to avoid the risks of a general election, they carried 
the Septennial Act; from that time till this Parliaments have 
been chosen at least once in seven years. (The first Parliament 
of George I. sat, with adjournments, from 1 715 to 1722.) The 
third care of the cabinet was to undo the Tory legislation 
against dissenters; the repeal (1718) of the law against "oc? 
casional conformity " and the Schism Act removed the bar^ 
riers by which the Tories had striven to block the avenues to 
education and the public service against all except members 
of the Church of England. 

England was settling down into a period of unruffled pros- 
perity when, in 1720, a money-panic shook the kingdom to its 
center. In 1713 the South Sea Company was formed in Lon- 
don to trade with Spanish America, fondly believed to be a 
mine of wealth. The idea caught the popular fancy; the 
rage for speculation pushed the price of shares to tenfold 
their par value. In 1720 it ^arae out that the shares were 
valueless. The " South Sea Bubble " burst. Spain prohibited 
English vessels to trade with her ports in America, and the 
other privileges of the company were of small account. 
Hundreds of families were ruined by the fall of the stock. 

2 74 Ax Outline History of England. 

The Whig government was blamed, and it became necessary 
to reconstruct the cabinet. Robert Walpole, hitherto a 
subordinate minister, became prime minister, and was actual 
ruler of England for the next twenty-one years, 1721-1742. Walpole was notoriously bad in many ways is very 
well known, but to his immense credit be it said that for a 
generation he kept England at peace while Europe was broil- 
ing with battles. lie fostered English manufactures and 
trade with zealous and judicious care, and he reduced -the 
national debt to the lowest figure it has ever reached — on 
these acts his reputation as a statesman rests secure. 

For the remaining years of the reign Walpole had little 
anxiety. Parliament, chosen anew in 1722, was submissively 
obedient; there were not enough Tories in it to make an 
opposition, and profuse bribery removed obstacles within his 
own party. In June, 1727, George I. died from a stroke 
of apoplexy. 

George Augustus succeeded his father as King George II. 
of Great Britain and Ireland and elector of Hanover, and 
followed pretty closely his father's policy of letting Walpole 
and the Whigs govern the nation. Through the energetic 
Queen Caroline the prime minister obtained the sovereign's 
assent to his plans. But it is more difficult to manage a 
nation than a monarch, and a party long continued in power 
divides against itself. Walpole gradually excluded the more 
influential Whigs from the highest offices, and gave little en- 
couragement to new aspirants for leadership among his own 
supporters. The Tories joined with these discontented 
Whigs, and in 1733 defeated the premier's project for an 
excise tax. They followed this by inciting a demand for 
war with Spain. The merchants were anxious to secure a 
share in the Spanish- American trade. The Tories wanted 
any thing to beat Walpole. In 1739 he conceded the dec- 
laration of war. Then they accused him of not supporting 
the armies in the field. In 1742 he resigned, and took his. 

House of Hanover, or Bruxswick. 275 

seat in the Lords as Earl of Orford. The ministry of Pel- 
ham (1743-1754) succeeded him. 

King George's support of Maria Theresa, in her struggle 
to maintain her right to the imperial throne of Germany, in- 
volved England in another continental war. In 1744 France 
was added to the enemies of England. These gathering 
dangers convinced Charles Edward Stuart, son of James 
Francis Edward, that the opportunity for the restoration of 
the Stuarts had arrived. He landed in Scotland in 1745, 
proclaimed his father in Edinburgh as King James III. of 
England and James VIII. of Scotland.- A few thousand 
loyal Highlanders re-enforced his army, and the small force 
which opposed him at Preston Pans (September, 1745) was 
shattered by the rush of the mountaineers. The Jacobite 
army, doubled and trebled by victory, invaded England. In 
December the young Pretender's forces were at Derby, half- 
way on the road to London. There his advance was stayed. 
Few Englishmen had rallied to the Stuart flag; but the 
troops of the king were mustering fast. Alarmed to find the 
country so cold toward him, Charles recrossed the border. 
After another bravely-won battle at Falkirk, in January, 
174G, his ranks dwindled, and at Culloden, on the 16th 
of April, they were mercilessly slaughtered by the English 
soldiers of the duke of Cumberland — " Culloden Cumber- 

The prince wandered five months among the Scottish 
mountains, as Charles I. had wandered about England after 
Worcester, escaping in the autumn of 1746 to France. The 
treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), which ended the war be- 
tween France and England, deprived him of that harborage. 
After his father's death, in 1766, he lived in Italy, a con- 
firmed drunkard. There he died, childless, in 1788. 

It was not to the credit of the British government that a 
rebel army of a few undisciplined regiments should march 
half the length of the island and back again unopposed. The 

276 An Outline History of England. 

administration was weak ; Pelham and his colleagues lacked 
energy ; the nation distrusted itself and feared the king, who 
cared more for continental wars than for England's welfare. 

The situation was alarming. The ministers either did not 
foresee, or could not prevent, the alliance of the French and 
Spanish Bourbon kings, and the doctrine of the " balance of 
power" was left defenseless. In India the French under 
Dupleix were striving to supplant the British East India 
Company by ingratiating themselves with the native princes. 
In America the French, firmly posted in Canada and Louis- 
iana, laid claim to the region drained by the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi' Rivers, and established a line of forts to hold the country 
west of the Alleghany Mountains. France, arrogant and 
confident, was crowding in every-where; England, despond- 
ent, and dissatisfied with her rulers, was losing influence and 
on the way to loss of territory. The force which Braddock 
led against Fort Duquesne, at the juncture of the Alleghany 
and Monongahela Rivers, was routed by the French (1755), 
and only the skill of George Washington saved the colonial 
troops from the fate of the redcoats. War with France 
followed— " The Seven Years' War" (1756-1763). 

Europe, America, and India were the battle-fields in this 
conflict. In Europe the strength of the English lay in their 
alliance with Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. With 
their money he paid the expenses of the campaigns which 
his brain directed and his soldiers fought. But Russia and 
Austria, as well as France, were in arms against him, and the 
European outlook in 1757 was dismal indeed. The French 
won the first successes both there and in America. 

England was in despair. She had no generals, her only 
ally was beset by three powerful empires, her king was at 
heart a foreigner, and his English ministers were incom- 
petent. At this moment of humiliation, William Pitt, a 
member of the House of Commons, a person without rank or 
fortune, offered to save the nation. " I know that I can save 

House of Hanover, or Brunswick. 277 

this country," he had the confidence to say, " and I know 
no other man can." In October, 1757, he became the lead- 
ing spirit of the government. 

Trusting supremely in the courage and purpose of the En- 
glish people Pitt threw the whole force of an impetuous 
nature into the war. With a great man's eye for true men he 
chose new generals to replace the dukes and princes who 
had been retreating before Frenchmen. Under the Ger- 
man Ferdinand of Brunswick the English beat the French 
at Minden in the summer of 1759. In America Fort Du- 
quesne surrendered (1758), and the grateful colonists 
renamed it Fort Pitt, (now Pittsburg). Amherst, one of 
Pitt's new commanders, took Fort Ticonderoga on Lake 
Champlain, and another untried general, James Wolfe, 
fought upon the Plains of Abraham the battle with Mont- 
calm, which won Quebec, Montreal, and eventually all Canada, 
for England. 

The slowly traveling news from India was more wonderful 
yet. The British East India Company had monopolized 
the trade of India for one hundred and fifty years. In 1744 
Dupleix, an able Frenchman, undertook to introduce French 
influence, but the ability of Robert Clive, a clerk in the 
company's employ, thwarted the attempt. When the two 
nations renewed hostilities in Europe Clive resumed the 
field in Asia. In June, 1757, he won the battle of Plassy, 
thereby becoming master of Bengal, and laying the founda- 
tion of the British Empire in India. 

The victories on three continents revived the spirit of the 
nation. England was saved, and the people adored the 
statesman who had saved her — the "Great Commoner" as 
Pitt was proud to be called. The death of the king, October 
25, 1760, checked his triumphant career. 

While Walpole and Pitt were molding the goverment of 
the nation another force was working upon the private life 
of the people, and a mighty revival of religion was rattling 

278 An Outline History of England. 

the dry bones of the Established Church, which in the cent- 
ury since the fall of Puritanism had become cold and life- 
less. A group of Oxford students, nicknamed " Methodists" 
from the regularity of their devotions, led the new move- 
ment, which revived spiritual religion among the common 
people, and purged the Church itself of the careless and 
worldly clergy. John and Charles Wesley and George 
Whitefield were the leaders of this important agitation. Its 
results are far-reaching. Popular education, hospitals, asy- 
lums, and reformed prisons are among the fruits of the seed 
which the Methodists sowed. 

Frederick, Prince of Wales, died before his father, and it 
was his eldest son who came to the throne as King George 
the Third. For sixty years (1 760-1 S20), the longest of En- 
glish reigns, this prince was king of England. Within this 
long period the United States achieved their independence, 
the mad drama of the French Revolution was played to the 
curtain fall, Napoleon Bonaparte won and lost an empire, 
and the introduction of steam wrought industrial changes as 
momentous as those which plunged two continents in blood. 

George III. inherited the throne at the age of twenty-three 
— the first Hanoverian sovereign of English birth. "Be 
king, George, be king," was the constant admonition of his 
mother, and to the best of his limited ability he obeyed her 
ambitious instructions. Never strong of mind, but ever 
strong of will, he determined not simply to reign but to rule. 
For ministers he had no use except as his agents. He tried 
to be his own prime minister, forming his own policy, and 
executing it by means of an obedient cabinet and a House of 
Commons in his pay. 

There could be no sympathy between Pitt's royal nature 
and the bigoted perversity of the king. The prime minister 
was devoted to the continuance of the w r ar ; Pitt not only 
helped Frederick of Prussia, but, finding that Spain was in 
close league with France against Great Britain, he came out 

House of Hanover, or Brunswick. 279 

boldly for a Spanish war. The king opposed it. The enor- 
mous expense of the struggle thus far turned many Whigs 
against it. Unable to accomplish his purpose, the great 
commoner resigned (1751). Lord Bute, a Tory, and a mere 
court favorite, now became George's adviser, and in 17G2 
was made prime minister, for the purpose of carrying out 
the royal wishes. The Peace of Paris, between Great Britain, 
France, and Spain, was signed early in 1763. France gave up 
Canada and the territory between the Mississippi and the Al- 
leghanies, with lesser possessions in the West Indies and 
Africa. Spain ceded Florida to England. 

The disgraceful servility of the House of Commons to the 
king and his creatures is accounted for by its antiquated con- 
stitution. Changes in the population of the nation had de- 
stroyed its pretensions to representative character. Bor- 
oughs populous in the early days of Parliament, and then 
entitled to two members, had shrunken in size, while thriving 
cities, growing up since the apportionment, had no members 
at all. In many of the dwindled towms only a handful of 
voters remained. A few boroughs had no voters. These 
"close" or "rotten" boroughs were the property of some 
nobleman — his " pocket-boroughs," and he selected the mem- 
bers. Out of eight millions of people, only one hundred and 
sixty thousand voted at elections. Upon this small electoral 
body bribery was effective, and members of the House of 
Commons itself were tempted by open offers of money, 
public contracts, or high office. This state of affairs pro- 
duced a stong party of " king's friends," while it made Par- 
liament thoroughly unpopular with the body of the nation. 
The arbitrary acts of the Commons deepened this dislike. 
Subjected to bitter criticism by the press, Parliament en- 
deavored to curb its liberty. In 1764 one John Wilkes, a 
member, was expelled from Parliament for harsh criticisms 
of the king's speech published in his paper, the North Briton. 
In 1765 he sat for Middlesex in the new Parliament,, and 

280 Ax Outline History of England. 

having been expelled for new libels, was twice re-elected and 
rejected. This called forth loud protests, as an invasion of 
the rights of constituents. A series of letters (1769-1772) 
published in the Daily Advertiser over the signature "Junius" 
criticised the course of the government with the sharpest 
pen ever used in political controversy. In 1771 the House of 
Commons attempted to suppress the publication of its de- 
bates. But the nation took sides with the printers, and Par- 
liament prudently abandoned the prosecution, and left the 
press un trammeled. 

The English colonies in America, most of them founded 
by fugitives from oppression at home, had gradually in- 
creased in extent and population until, at the close of the 
Seven Years' War (1763) they numbered thirteen colonies and 
over two million souls. The British government, burdened 
by debt, part of which was incurred in defense of the 
northern colonies against the French and Indians, asserted 
its right to tax the colonies to pay it. The colonies made a 
spirited resistance, declaring the principle, "No taxation 
without representation." Having no voice in Parliament they 
denied the right of that body to levy taxes, although they 
did not deny their liability for a share of the war expenses. 

George Grenville, who succeeded Bute as minister, would 
not recede from his position. He gave orders for the strict 
enforcement of the revenue laws in America, and obtained 
the passage of a "Stamp Act" (1765), requiring legal nnd 
financial papers and other documents used in the colonies to 
bear a British revenue stamp. The colonies thereupon agreed 
to use no goods imported from Britain; the stamp-sellers were 
mobbed, and the provinces drew together in a congress to make 
protest. Grenville gave way to Rockingham. Pitt, now 
Earl of Chatham, in the Lords, and Edmund Burke, the 
Whig orator of the Commons, pleaded for the repeal of the 
Stamp Act and generous dealings. It was repealed in March, 
1766, but not until Parliament had exasperated the colonists 

House of IIaxover, or Brunswick. 2S1 

b}^ re-asserting its right to tax the Americans " in all cases 

King George was deeply offended by the repeal act. He 
bated Pitt, and welcomed with delight his resignation from 
the ministry. For twelve years (1770-1782) George used 
Lord North as he had used Bute, as the pliant agent of his 
own personal designs. First among these was the subjection 
of the rebellious Americans. An attempt to compel the colo- 
nists to use imported tea was thwarted in Boston in Decem- 
ber, 1773, by a mob, disguised as Indians, who threw the tea 
into the harbor. To punish the Bostonians Parliament passed 
the "Boston Port Bill" (1774), prohibiting trade with the 
rebellious city. At the same time General Gage, commander- 
in-chief of the British forces in America, was made governor 
of Massachusetts, with increased powers. In September the 
first Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and protested 
against these and similar acts of tyranny. In April of the 
following year the royal troops in Massachusetts encount- 
ered the provincial minute-men in the Battles of Lexington 
and Concord, and the New England militia in large num- 
bers surrounded Gage in Boston. Congress met in May and 
appointed George Washington, of Virginia, commander of the 
forces ; even before he reached the army the Battle of Bun- 
ker's Hill had shown the ability of New England militiamen 
to face the fire of regulars. In March, 1770, the British 
evacuated Boston and removed the garrison to New York. 
The war had begun in dead earnest, and the colonial leaders 
recognized that retreat was impossible. On the Fourth of 
July, 1776, they formally adopted a solemn statement of their 
wrongs, closing with the Declaration of Independence. " We, 
the Representatives of the United States of America in Con- 
gress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the 
world for the rectitude of our intentions, solemnly publish 
and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right 
ought to be, Free and Independent States." 

282 An Outline History of England. 

The Declaration roused England to greater exertions to 
reunite the empire, and stirred the Americans to seek recog- 
nition and help from Europe. The year 1776 closed disas- 
trously for them, and 1777 opened even more dismally. 
General Howe drove Congress from Philadelphia, but in Oc- 
tober Burgoyne, advancing southward from Canada with a 
fine army, was surrounded, and compelled to surrender to the 
American General Gates at Saratoga. 

In the House of Lords, Chatham still pleaded for reconcili- 
ation, but the hour for that had passed. The Congress re- 
jected all overtures. Pitt was again invited to become prime 
minister, but death intervened. France, led by sympathy for 
the struggling freemen and by hatred of Great Britain, recog- 
nized the independence of the new States, and joined in the 
war (1778) with a fleet. Spain followed her leader (1779), 
and for three years and a half laid siege to General Elliot in 
Gibraltar. Holland joined the allies in 1780. In the next 
year the combined forces of France and America entrapped 
Lord Cornwallis with a British army of seven thousand men 
at Yorktown, Va., intercepted his communications with the 
northern army, and finally, in October, compelled him to sur- 
render. The news struck Lord North like a bullet. 

The war could not go on. Weak as were the revolted 
States, seven campaigns had utterly failed to subdue them. 
Dangers surrounded Britain ; all Europe was hostile ; France, 
Spain, and Holland at open war ; Russia, Denmark, and 
Sweden leagued in an " Armed Neutrality" (1780) to resist 
the English practice of searching all ships for contraband 
goods. Ireland was clamoring for " home rule." Even the 
long-suffering Parliament would no longer support the min- 
istry, and notwithstanding the king's fixed purpose to punish 
the rebels, Lord North resigned his thankless office. Rock- 
ingham returned to power with a Whig ministry containing 
the brilliant orators Edmund Burke, Charles James Fox, and 
Richard Brinsley Sheridan. This cabinet, remodeled at Rock- 

House of IIaxover, or Brunswick. 283 

ingham's death by Lord Shelburnc, performed the humiliating 
tasks which were set before it. Ireland was made to rejoice in 
a free Parliament (Grattan's Parliament) at Dublin, and prac- 
tical self-government under the crown. Peace with America 
was formally declared in 1783. Great Britain recognized 
the thirteen revolted colonies as the United States of Amer- 
ica — an independent nation; Spain received Florida; Canada 
remained loyal to the crown. In India, alone in these fatal 
years, the genius of Warren Hastings, governor-general, h.d 
extended the boundaries of the empire. 

Before the close of the American war a British navigator, 
Captain James Cook, had made a series of voyages in the Pa- 
cific Ocean which made up to England her losses in the West. 
He discovered the Sandwich Islands and many lesser groups 
of Australasia, and opened the way for the settlement of Tas- 
mania, New Zealand and Australia— destined soon to become 
a' splendid portion of the empire. 

The dread of the Catholics, which had molded legislation 
in the preceding century, when there was really danger that 
the Established Church would be Romanized, had now van- 
ished so far that in 1778 the government ventured to repeal 
certain oppressive acts relating to the Christians of that com- 
munion. But the old animosity was only sleeping, and some 
crazy utterances of Lord George Gordon awakened the fa- 
natical cry that the Protestant religion was in danger. "No 
popery" riots raged in London in June, 1780, for five days, 
the criminal and idle taking advantage of the tumult to burn 
and plunder. 

William Pitt, second son of Lord Chatham, the friend of 
America, became prime minister in 1783, and held that high- 
est office for eighteen years (1783-1801). Under his guid- 
ance Great Britain rallied from the loss of America, consoli- 
dated her foreign possessions, and so increased in wealth and 
military power that she became the defense of Europe 
against the ambition of Napoleon Bonaparte. The younger 

284 An Outline History of England. 

Pitt came from college to Parliament (1781). In December, 
1783, before his twenty-fifth birthday, he was first lord of the 
treasury and virtual ruler of Great Britain. 

"A sight to make surrounding nations stare — 
A kingdom trusted to a school-boy's care! " 

But the school-boy had improved his time. His great 
father's instructions sank into a singularly fertile mind, and 
the young man had early familiarized himself with political 
economy and the problem of governing an industrial and 
commercial nation. The improvement of the steam-engine 
by Watt (1765), the invention of the spinning-jenny by Har- 
greaves (1764), the spinning-frame by Arkw right (1768), the 
"mule" spinner by Crompton (1776), and the power-loom, 
gave an enormous impetus to textile manufactures. New 
processes in metallurgy made available the stores of coal and 
iron which had lain idle in the hills and moorlands of the 
Pennine Chain. Over these industries Pitt watched with es- 
pecial care, and his treaties with foreign powers fostered com- 
merce by extending freedom of trade. The empire which 
the East India Company had won was brought under the par- 
tial control of the home government (1784). Pitt's efforts 
for the reform of Parliament by the abolition of the "rotten 
borouechs " were defeated, as was his bill for the abolition of 
the slave-trade. 

Fox, the brilliant orator of the Whigs, was Pitt's most 
dangerous opponent. The king's weak mind failed under the 
stress of responsibility and disappointment. The wayward- 
ness of his son George, Prince of Wales, grieved and vexed 
him. Fox, lately minister, drank and gambled with the 
prince, and when the kings madness befell in 1788, Fox de- 
manded the regency as Prince George's right. Pitt defended 
the claim of Parliament to select the regent, and while- the 
giants were contending the king's mind cleared again. But 
from time to time the clouds returned, and after November, 
1810, the sunlight never pierced them, King George III. 

House of Hanover, or Brunswick. 2S5 

was hopelessly insane and blind, and the profligate Prince of 
Wales became regent. 

From 1789 until 1815, France was the center-point of 
European affairs. The condition of the kingdom was pecul- 
iar. A succession of Bourbon kings had collected all author- 
ity into the hands of the monarch. The nobility and the 
Church remained without share in the government, but with 
many privileges. These orders were exempt from the taxa- 
tion which oppressed the common people, and they monopo- 
lized all offices. A group of writers, of whom Jean Jacques 
Rousseau was the representative, filled the nation with spec- 
ulations and sentimental theories upon the constitution of 
society. The doctrine of the equality of man pervaded all 
classes. The young King Louis XVI. (1774-1792), kind- 
hearted but irresolute, was powerless to guide reform. The 
finances of the kingdom were so disordered that, in 1789, rep- 
resentatives of the nation — the States General — were sum- 
monded (for the first time since 1614) to consider measures of 
taxation. This body, swayed by the ideas of " liberty, equal- 
ity, and fraternity," abolished the privileges of aristocracy 
and clergy, and formed a constitutional government not unlike 
that of Great Britain. Great was the enthusiasm in England 
over the French Revolution. Wordsworth says of the time : 
" Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, 
But to be young was very heaven I " 

Fox welcomed it with delight. Pitt sympathized with the 
French struggle for liberty, though Burke, cutting loose from 
his old friends, prophesied disaster from the overturning of 
the established government. The prophecy was fulfilled. 
The French Republicans, dissatisfied with the moderate 
revolution, hurried France into war with Germany, and be- 
headed the king with his queen, Marie Antoinette, as enemies 
of the nation (1793). The revolution offered its help to all 
the oppressed peoples of Europe, and declared Avar upon 
Holland, Spain, Germany, and England (1793-1802). 

286 An Outline History of England. 

Forced into the war against his will, the prime minister car- 
ried it on with little of the brilliancy which had marked his 
civil policy. England was strong on the sea, but no English 
general could cope successfully with the young men who 
led the republican armies. The armies of Austria and Prus- 
sia, fed and clothed by English money, were poorly led and 
accomplished nothing. In 1795 a new constitution placed 
the government of the Republic in the hands of five direct- 
ors. Napoleon Bonaparte, a young artillery officer, became 
general of the armies, and his victories in Austrian Italy ex- 
torted peace from Austria (Treaty of Campo Formio, 1797). 

Pitt vainly endeavored to gain peace for England also, 
but the French had other projects. The " United Irishmen " 
awaited their promised assistance to break their island away 
from the British Empire. But the naval victories of Jervis 
over the Spanish off Cape St. Vincent in February, and the 
dispersion of the Dutch fleet by Admiral Duncan at Camper- 
down in October, prevented the French auxiliaries from cross- 
ing the Channel. The Irish rose unaided, and were put down 
in the battle of Vinegar Hill, in May, 1798. Peace with 
Austria encouraged Napoleon to threaten the English pos- 
sessions in India. In 1798 he conquered Egypt, but the 
genius of Admiral Nelson destroyed his fleet at Aboukir 
(August 1) in the famous Battle of the Nile. Foiled in an 
attempt to subdue the East, Bonaparte returned alone to 
France in October, 1799. He found the Directory involved 
in a great war. Russia and Austria had joined hands; Pitt 
had filled their war chests with British gold, and Portugal, 
Naples, and Turkey had united with them to check the 
French advance. By a sudden stroke Napoleon overthrew 
the Directory, and set up a new constitution with himself as 
First Consul. Defeats at Marengo and Ilohenlinden (1800) 
forced Austria to a second peace (Treaty of Luneville, 1801), 
shattering the coalition upon which Pitt had staked his hopes. 

The week before the Treaty of Luneville was signed the 

House of Hanover, or Brunswick. 237 

great minister had resigned his office on account of a conflict 
with King George. Throughout the war with France Ire- 
land had been a constant menace to Great Britain. The 
home rule granted in 17S2 had been a failure, for the Irish 
Parliament was controlled by a few great landlords and did 
not represent the nation. Accordingly, in 1800, Mr. Pitt 
obtained the consent of both nations to the abolition of the 
Parliament. It is said that the consent of Ireland was 
shamelessly purchased. The legislative union of Great 
Britain and Ireland dates from January 1, 1801. Since that 
time Irish members have sat in both Houses, and one Parlia- 
ment has made laws for the three kingdoms. The promise 
of liberal concessions to the Roman Catholics had quieted 
their opposition to the union. But these promises the Brit- 
ish Parliament refused to honor. Pitt urged that all the 
real or fancied perils to the State Church had disappeared 
and that the Catholics deserved equal political rights. Such 
a measure might have won the hearty allegiance of Ireland 
to the union, but it met with the determined opposition of 
the stubborn king. He had sworn on his coronation day " to 
defend the faith," and he obstinately declared that no man 
should force him to break that oath. The project, indeed, 
was distasteful to the Protestants, and the king's enmity 
destroyed its only chance of success. 

Pitt resigned his office in despair, and a new ministry of 
almost unknown men — the Addington cabinet — took up the 
government. A league of Russia, Denmark, and other 
northern maritime States confronted them. The Battle of 
the Baltic (Copenhagen), won by Nelson in April, 1801, and 
a reconciliation between England and the new czar, Alexan- 
der of Russia, dispelled that danger, and in March, 1802, the 
war with France was ended by the Peace of Amiens. Cey- 
lon was the only important conquest retained by England. 

The peace lasted but fourteen months, and under its cloak 
Bonaparte prepared an enormous armament for the invasion 

288 An Outline History of England. 

of England. His intentions were so evident that England 
herself declared war with France in May, 1S03. With one 
voice the British nation recalled William Pitt to the head 
of the government, and though near his death he obeyed 
(1804). An army of volunteers was gathered in haste to 
repel the invasion. The royal fleet patrolled the narrow 
seas to prevent the passage of the hosts at Boulogne. " Give 
us the Channel for six hours and England is ours," said Na- 
poleon, but not for six minutes did the English admirals 
relax their vigilance. 

Meanwhile Pitt's active emissaries in the northern courts 
had formed the " Third Coalition " of Austria, Sweden, and 
Russia for vigorous war against Bonaparte, Avho, in 1804, 
assumed the title of Emperor Napoleon. The emperor, 
matchless in rapidity of decision and action, abandoned 
the English expedition and hurrying eastward captured an 
Austrian army at Ulm. Eight days later (October 25, 1804) 
Nelson destroyed the French and Spanish fleets, and lost his 
own recklessly ventured life in the Battle of Trafalgar. 
The naval power of Napoleon was crushed, and for the 
time the fears of England were relieved; but the emperor's 
armies seemed invincible. In December, 1805, he struck 
Austria and Russia a terrible blow at Austerlitz, the " bat- 
tle of the three emperors." Austria hastily left the coalition 
and made peace with the emperor. Prussia likewise joined 
the victor. England was once more left almost alone. 

The news of Austerlitz was Pitt's death-blow. "Roll 
up that map," he said, pointing to the map of Europe, 
" there will be no use for it these ten years; " and he spoke 
truly, for the emperor carved out new kingdoms from his 
conquests and changed the boundaries of nearly every State 
of western Europe. On January 23, 1806, the great minis- 
ter died, amid the lamentations of his countrymen, and was 
buried by Lord Chatham's side in Westminster Abbey. 

With characteristic subtlety Napoleon next attacked Great 

House of Haxover, or Brunswick. 289 

Britain through her commerce. While her navy held the 
seas he could not invade the island, but he might destroy 
her trade with Europe. From the capital of conquered 
Prussia, in November, 1806, the emperor launched his fa- 
mous " Berlin decree " closing the ports of Europe to British 
trade and declaring the British Isles in a state of blockade, 
great Britain answered this by its "orders in council," block- 
ading the French ports and authorizing the capture of 
neutral vessels trading with them. By the Peace of Tilsit 
(July, 1807) Russia and Prussia were added to the countries 
from which British trade was excluded by the emperor's 
" continental system." The possession of Denmark would 
have barred the Baltic to British commerce, and Napoleon 
planned to seize that country, when England — now guided 
by a ministry in which Canning and Castlereagh were the 
leading men — descended upon Copenhagen, and after bom- 
barding the city (September, 1807,) captured and carried off 
the whole Danish fleet. Portugal, which also stood aloof 
from the continental system, was occupied by the French 
(November, 1807), and an army of 100,000 Frenchmen gar- 
risoned Spain. 

In 1808 the struggle with Napoleon assumed a new phase. 
In that year he brutally deposed the rightful king of Spain 
and placed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, on the throne. 
The Spanish nation rose in wild revolt, and England sent 
men and money to aid them in their six years' struggle, " the 
Peninsular War" (1808-1814). Sir Arthur Wellesley, a 
friend of Pitt, and a veteran of the wars in India, was the 
hero of the English expedition which cleared Portugal of 
the French (1808). Sir John Moore, commanding in Spain, 
was driven out by an immense force commanded by the 
emperor and Marshal Soult (January, 1S09), but in midsum- 
mer, when Napoleon had been called away by a new (the 
fifth) Austrian war, Wellesley pushed into Spain and 
defeated the French at Talavera. For this he w r as created 

290 Ax Outline History of England. 

Viscount Wellington, and from this time the English hoped 
they had found a general. Yet they gave him meager sup- 
port, and though he clung tenaciously to Portugal it was not 
until 1812 that the English gained a firm foothold in Spain. 

In that year Napoleon led half a million men into the 
heart of Russia to compel the czar to observe the continental, 
system. He was forced to retreat, and Prussia, Russia, and 
Austria joined a new coalition with England to put an end 
to his career. In the three days' Battle of the Nations at 
Leipzig (October 1G, 18, 19, 1813), Napoleon received his 
first great defeat. The withdrawal of the French troops 
from Spain for the emperor's army gave Wellington his 
opportunity. In 1813 he expelled the French from the 
Peninsula and followed them into their own terj-itory. As 
lie entered France from the south the allies crossed the Rhine 
and pressed toward Paris. All that Napoleon's military skill 
could do was done to save the capital, but the forces against 
him were overwhelming. On March 21, 1814, the king of 
Prussia and the emperor of Austria entered Paris. The em- 
peror of the French abdicated his throne and left France, the 
allies giving him the island of Elba. 

The war did not end with the abdication of Napoleon. 
While the allies were quarreling over the settlement of 
Europe, Bonaparte left Elba and re-entered France. His 
old soldiers joined him. The powers of Europe hastily re- 
newed their alliance. Two great armies, the English under 
Wellington, and the Prussians under Bliicher, were assembled 
in Belgium. On the 14th of June, 1815, Napoleon crossed 
the Belgian frontier, endeavoring to crush each force before 
its juncture. Wellington's victory at Waterloo, June 18, de- 
stroyed the emperor's hopes ; he gave himself up to the British 
government, and was imprisoned on the island of St. Helena, 
where he died May 5, 1821. In the Congress of Vienna the 
allies stripped France of her conquests, England's share being 
the Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, Malta, and a few small islands. 

House of Hanover, or Brunswick. 291 

The United States had suffered severely from the enforce- 
ment of the laws against trade by which France and En- 
gland had waged their commercial war. American vessels 
had been seized and searched, and the British practice of 
impressing alleged English seamen found on American vessels 
was especially galling. After vain remonstrances, the United 
States declared in 1812 the second war with England. The 
land operations were generally unimportant. The American 
invasions of Canada were repulsed, and the British incursions 
from the north met with discouragement and defeat. On the 
sea the few vessels flying the stars and stripes were generally 
victorious in a number of hard-fought duels with British 
men-of-war. The cessation of hostilities in Spain enabled 
England to strengthen her forces in the "New World, and in 
the summer of 1814 her troops burned the public buildings 
of Washington, but were beaten off from their attack on 
Baltimore. In December General Jackson repulsed the Brit- 
ish at New Orleans, after the treaty of peace had been signed. 

Since the king's insanity in 1811 the Prince of Wales, a 
frivolous man of fashion, had been regent, though lie left the 
government entirely to his ministers. They had many per- 
plexities. High prices and low wages stirred the laboring 
classes against their employers. "Luddites," attributing 
the scarcity of work to the introduction of machinery, tra- 
versed the country in riotous bands, breaking looms and 
spinning-frames. Laws restricting the importation of foreign 
grain raised the price of breadstuflfs, enriching the agricult- 
urist at the expense of the bread-winner. Fresh and loud 
demands were heard for the reform of Parliament and the 
emancipation of the Catholics. The abolition of the slave- 
trade in 1807 crowned the labors of Pitt, Fox, Clarkson, and 
Wilberforce, but the other needed reforms remained unexe- 
cuted when the aged monarch, George the Third, blind and 
broken, died at Windsor, January 20, 1820. 

George IV. had already been regent for nine years when 

292 An Outline History of England. 

he became king at the age of fifty-seven. He left the gov- 
ernment entirely to his ministers, who reluctantly yielded to 
the growing demands for reform. In the first year of the 
reign a plot — called, from the meeting-place of the con- 
spirators, the "Cato Street conspiracy" — which aimed at the 
assassination of the entire cabinet was discovered. Arthur 
Thistlewood and four accomplices were hanged. The trouble 
grew out of a meeting of radical reformers at St. Peter's 
Fields, Manchester, in August, 1819. The government had 
broken up that gathering with bloodshed, which gave it the 
name of the " Manchester Massacre." The plot to kill the 
ministers was a project of revenge. 

At the close of the Napoleonic wars, three nations, Russia, 
Austria, and Prussia, formed the "Holy Alliance," which 
they employed to repress the liberalizing influences which the 
French revolution had let loose in Europe. Canning, the 
leading minister of George IV., placed England on the side 
of the " liberals," early recognizing the independence of the 
revolted Spanish- American republics, helping Portugal against 
Spain, and lending aid to the Greeks in their war for inde- 
pendence with the Turk. In this administration, also, Mr. 
.Huskisson relieved imports and exports of some of their 
burdens. The staunch Tory ministry of the duke of Wel- 
lington, the hero of Waterloo, and Robert Peel came into 
power in 1828, and was forced by circumstances to grant 
Catholic emancipation. Daniel O'Connell, the Irish orator, 
fought for this boon, and in 1829 the government yielded. The 
ancient oaths of supremacy, allegiance, and abjuration gave 
place to a new form which a Roman Catholic might take with- 
out offending his conscience ; membership in Parliament and all 
offices, save the regency, the chancellorship, and the vice-roy- 
alty of* Ireland, were thrown open to the Catholics. This was as 
far as the conservative Tories were willing to go in the path of 
'reform. There they stood when the death of the king, June 
26, 1830, brought his brother to the throne as William IV. 

Conclusion. • 293 


CONCLUSION. 1830 A. D.-1890 A. D. 

William IV, the eldest surviving son of George III., 
succeeded to the thrones of Great Britain and Hanover at the 
death of his brother George IV, June 26, 1830, beingthenin 
his sixty-fifth year and without legitimate children. His 
education had been imperfect, and in his long service in the 
navy this sailor-prince — "royal tarry-breeks " as Robert 
Burns called him — had shown no real ability. He was a 
■better king than captain, and accepted with more grace than 
his predecessors the subordinate position into which the 
development of parliamentary rule had forced the monarch. 

The reform of Parliament was the question which over- 
shadowed all others in the public mind. All recent efforts to 
improve the system of electing members of the House of 
Commons had failed on account of the inborn English 
opposition to change, an opposition confirmed by the excesses 
of the French Revolution. The writings of William Cobbett, 
a self-taught journalist, who had sprung from the common 
people himself, and had lived a number of years in the 
United States, gave a new impulse to the efforts for reform. 
Throughout the regency and the reign of George IV., how- 
ever, the government declined to act. The duke of Wellington 
and Sir Robert Peel, bitter opponents of reform, were the 
leaders of William IV. 's first cabinet. In the House of Lords 
the great duke declared that the present constitution of Parlia- 
ment was agreeable to the nation, and should never be altered 
with his approval. Such opinions made even the hero of Wat- 

294 An Outline History of England. 

erloo unpopular, and the king himself was mobbed in London 
streets. Pressure became so great that the Tories resigned 
before the end of the year, the Whig Earl Grey becoming 
prime minister, with Lord John Russell as leader of the House 
of Commons. The Commons rejected Russell's Reform Bill 
(1831), and in a new Parliament the bill was thrown out by 
the Lords after passing the Lower House. The country ran 
wild at the endeavors of the aristocracy to stop the progress 
of the bill. King William himself yielded, and promised to 
create enough new peers to reverse the anti-reform majority, 
but he was saved from this extreme resort by the Lords, who 
relented. On June 7, 1832, the Reform Bill became a law. 

The Tories were in despair at the success of the " Liberals," 
as the reformers were henceforth called, in contrast to the 
" Conservatives," who desired to preserve the constitution from 
innovations. Wellington believed that England was about 
to follow the example of France in 1789, and overthrow all 
safeguards of liberty and property. The law which caused 
such excitement seems now only beneficial. From the " rot- 
ten " boroughs which, through a decline of population, had 
lost their right to representation it took one or both members, 
distributing one hundred and forty-three seats thus gained 
among populous manufacturing cities like Manchester and 
Birmingham, the larger counties and newly created boroughs. 
The right to vote for members of Parliament was much ex- 
tended, although still limited to those possessing property of 
a certain value. 

The first Parliament chosen in accordance with the new 
law met in January, 1833. Wellington expressed the 
forebodings of the Conservatives, " We can only hope for the 
best ; we cannot foresee what will happen ; but few people 
will be sanguine enough to imagine that we shall ever again 
be as prosperous as we have been." Yet this first legislature 
which fairly represented modern England was not a body of 
irresponsible democrats. To its lasting glory it passed a bill 

Conclusion. 295 

abolishing slavery in every English land (1833), compensating 
the slave-holders by a grant of £20,000,000. It also reformed 
the poor-laws of Queen Elizabeth, under which vagrancy and 
pauperism had multiplied. The " Municipal Corporation Act " 
of the following year cleared the town governments of En- 
gland and Wales of the antiquated customs which protected 
plunder and corruption. The trade monopoly enjoyed for 
two centuries by the East India Company was broken up, 
though its share in the Indian government was left. In 1S3-4 
the king became dissatisfied with his Liberal cabinet and re- 
placed the ministry by Peel and Wellington ; but the sentiment 
of the country Avas against them, and in April, 1S35, they 
resigned and the Whigs (Liberals) came into power with 
Lord Melbourne as premier, Lord Palmerston and Lord John 
Russell beinnf among his colleagues. 

King William IV. died at Windsor Castle at two o'clock in 
the morning of June 20, 1S37. At five o'clock the Princess 
Alexandrina Victoria, daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent, 
George III.'s fourth son, was wakened from a sound sleep and 
told that she was queen of Great Britain and Ireland. She 
was then but eighteen years old, well educated, and carefully 
secluded from the licentious sayings and doings of her uncle's 
court. With charming dignity she received the announce- 
ment of her succession to the throne, and took the solemn 
oaths in the presence of the lords and gentlemen of the 
council. Her uncles, George and William, had been kings of 
Hanover in the fatherland, but as females might not inherit 
that crown, her uncle, Ernest Duke of Cumberland, inherited 
that country, which, since the downfall of the German 
Empire in the Napoleonic wars, had been ruled by kings 
instead of electors. From this time all connection between 
England and Hanover ceased, and in 1866 the latter kingdom 
became a province of Prussia. In 1S40 the queen married her 
German cousin, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a gentle- 
man of high character and cultivation, who became very pop- 

296 An Outline History of England. 

ular in England. Their twenty-one years of happy married 
life were terminated by his death in 18G1. 

"Chartism" and "Free Trade " were the absorbing public 
questions of Victoria's earlier years. The reforms of 1832, 
which had horrified the aristocracy and pleased the middle 
class, were denounced as inadequate and partial by the leaders 
of the working-men. The latter, perceiving the strength 
which lay in numbers, asked for a new parliamentary reform 
which should admit them to a share in the government. 
Their demands, set forth in a petition to which the Irish 
orator, O'Connell, gave the name of the " People's Charter," 
were as follows : 1. Parliaments to be elected annually; 
2. Manhood suffrage ; 3. Vote by ballot ; 4. Abolition of 
property qualification for membership in the House of Com- 
mons; 5. Salaries for members of Parliament, and 6. Equal 
electoral districts. Nothing in the charter affrights the 
present reader. In fact, three of the points — the second, 
third, and fourth — have since been adopted; but fifty years 
ago the Chartist demands were considered preposterous and 
revolutionary. The Commons rejected the petition (June, 
1839), and riots ensued which were forcibly suppressed. In 
1848 the Chartists again brought forward their grievances, 
and London was in such terror that its citizens enrolled them- 
selves for its defense, under the conqueror of Naj:>oleon. 
The petition, with nearly two million signatures, was duly 
presented, but there was no rioting. Wellington did not call 
out his troops. The scare blew over, and Chartism, despite 
the frantic appeals of its leaders, was laughed out of existence. 

The Free Trade agitation was better managed. For the 
" protection " of the agriculturists and land-owners of Great 
Britain . the culture of grain was fostered by a set of enact- 
ments known as " corn-laws." These had been imposed in 
the reign of George the Third, and their object was to raise 
the price of domestic cereals by collecting heavy duties upon 
imported breadstuff's, 

Conclusion. 207 

A group of thoughtful and able men, among whom Rich- 
ard Cobden and John Bright were foremost, protested that 
such legislation was to the advantage of the few producers 
and to the immense disadvantage of the more numerous con- 
sumers. By pamphlet and newspaper, at the hustings and in 
Parliament, these men, who in 1838 formed at Manchester the 
" Anti-Corn-Law League," labored early and late for the re- 
moval of these restrictions upon trade. The law-making 
class was also the land-owning class, and it was no easy mat- 
ter to extort from them the repeal legislation for which the 
people at last became clamorous. The original law of 1815, 
which practically shut out foreign wheat, was modified in 
1828 by the establishment of a " sliding scale" of duties; as 
the price of domestic wheat rose the duty was diminished 
and vice versa. The Cobdenites found most support among 
the Liberals; and it was to some extent the fear that this 
party would bring in Free Trade that led to its overthrow in 
1841, and the second elevation of Sir Robert Peel to the head 
of the Conservative ministry, among whose younger mem- 
bers was Mr. W. E. Gladstone. In 1842 this new cabinet 
revised the tariff, renewing or reducing the duties upon many 
articles and removing the sliding scale. Famine in Ireland 
won Free Trade for Great Britain. The failure of the po- 
tato crop of 1845 convinced the prime minister that the 
duties upon imported food supplies must be repealed. Lord 
Russell, the Liberal leader, declared his conversion to Mr. 
Cobden's principle, " buy in the cheapest market and sell in 
the dearest." Thereupon Sir Robert went over to the Free 
Traders, and though many of his own party deserted him 
(Mr. Disraeli among them) he carried, with Liberal assistance, 
a measure which not only repealed the corn-laws by gradual 
reduction of duties, but utterly abandoned the protectionist 
theory. Disraeli, just springing into prominence in the Con- 
servative party, wittily said of Peel's sudden adoption of the 
Whig Free Trade ideas, " Peel caught the Whigs in bath- 

298 Ax Outline History of England. 

ing and ran off with their clothes." In June, 1846, the bill 
became a law, and at the same time the government was 
voted down on a question of Irish government. As he re- 
signed his office its leader addressed the Commons in an im- 
pressive valedictory, awarding to Cobden the credit for the 
new law, and closing with impressive words: "The monopo- 
list might execrate me," said Peel, " but it may be that I shall 
be remembered with good-will in the abodes of men whose lot 
it is to labor and to earn their daily bread by the sweat of their 
brow — a name to be remembered with expressions of good-will 
when they shall recreate their exhausted strength with abun- 
dant and untaxed food, the sweeter because it is no longer 
leavened with a sense of injustice." From the repeal of the 
corn-laws dates the supremacy of Free Trade in Great Britain. 
After the battle of Waterloo England remained at peace 
with European nations for nearly forty years. But the rest- 
lessness of the Irish and the constant broils on the distant 
frontiers of the empire furnished the army with almost in- 
cessant employment. In the very first year of the reign 
(1837) a rebellious spirit showed itself in Canada. The in- 
surrection was quelled with little bloodshed (1839), and re- 
forms in the government, begun in 1840 and extended in 
1847, united the Dominion and endowed it with substantial 
Home Rule. From 1839 to 1842 the royal arms were di- 
rected against China, a nation which was resolutely opposed 
to dealings with the West. This " opium war " was fought 
in behalf of British East India traders who desired to 
open the Chinese market to the opium of India. As China 
could make no real resistance, England succeeded in forcing 
the iniquitous traffic upon her. The conquerors seized Hong 
Kong, and have since held it as a commercial and naval sta- 
tion. Other Chinese wars sprang from the ill-blood then 
engendered. In 1856 a vessel, the lorcha Arrow, flying the 
British flag, was seized by Chinese, and a war ensued which 
lasted with an interval of peace until 1860. 

Conclusion. 299 

Jealousy of Russia inspired a new and lasting dread in the 
British mind. The immense domain of the czar in Asia, and 
his persistent efforts to extend his boundaries toward the 
south, alarmed the government for the safety of British India. 
In 1838 England undertook to expel Dost Mohammed, the 
Afghan prince or ameer, from his country (Afghanistan) and 
to replace him with a friendly sovereign. The plan of inva- 
sion was at first successful, and Cabul, the capital, was taken, 
hut fortune soon changed and the invaders were repeatedly 
beaten, until they were compelled to reinstate the dethroned 
sovereign and leave the country. The Afghans promised 
safe conduct, and in the winter of 1841-1842 the retreat to- 
ward India began. A prey to cold and treachery, the army 
was massacred in the mountain passes. Only one man, Dr. 
l>rydon, out of the sixteen thousand who began the inarch, 
lived to reach the British camps at Jellalabad. England 
abandoned her attempt to force the obnoxious sovereign upon 
an unwilling people. By a second Avar (1877-1881) Great 
Britain established more or less firmly her influence among 
the Afghans. 

The defense of the empire which Clive and Hastings had 
won in India involved Great Britain in a succession of petty 
wars, the object of which was the extension of the British 
authority to the Himalaya Mountains, the natural northern 
boundary of the peninsula of Hindustan. Two wars with 
the Sikhs ended in the conquest of the Punjab (1849), in the 
north-west, and two campaigns in the north-east ended in the 
annexation of British Burmah (1852). In 1856 the rich 
province of Oudh came under British rule. 

Closely connected with Indian affairs is the Eastern Ques- 
tion, which early thrust itself upon the attention of Europe. 
The rapid decay of the Ottoman Empire and the ambition of 
Russia were the elements of the problem. The Czar Nicholas 
remarked of Turkey in 1853, "We have on our hands a 
sick man — a very sick man; it will be a great misfortune if 

800 An Outline Histobt of England. 

one of these days he should slip away from us before the 
necessary arrangements have been made/' For nearly forty 
years the European nations have been quarrelling- over the 
necessary arrangements. England believes that the Russian 
possession of Constantinople would imperil her own posses- 
sions in India. Russia is unwilling to allow the Bosphorns 
— the outlet of Russian Black Sea commerce — to pass into 
English or Austrian hands. So the "sick man " is main- 
tained alive. Iu 1853 war broke out between Russia and 
Turkey, the ostensible ground being the sultan's refusal to 
recognize the czar's claims as protector of the Greek Chris- 
tians in the Ottoman Empire. Western Europe interfered in 
time to save the sick man's inheritance. France, where the 
nephew of Bonaparte had recently made himself Emperor 
Napoleon III., and England formed an alliance to aid the 
Turks. War was declared in 1854, and Lord Raglan, a 
pupil of Wellington (who died, deeply lamented, in 1852), 
was sent to the Black Sea with a British army, to co-operate 
with the French in an attack upon the Russians in the 
Crimea. They landed in that peninsula in September, 185-4, 
defeated the Russians in the battle of the Alma, and laid 
siege for 349 days to the fortress of SebastopoL The 
Rus>ians made desperate efforts to beat them off, failing at 
Balaklava, October 25, and again at Inkerman, November 5. 
In the former engagement occurred the famous "charge 
of the Light Brigade,'' when, by the misconstruction of 
an order, a detachment of 007 English cavalrymen charged 
the whole Russian army. Only 198 men rode back from 
" the wild charge they made.*' The sufferings of the allies 
in the trenches were terrible; the winter's cold destroyed 
hundreds and the cholera of midsummer carried off thou- 
sands more. The story of these miseries bore fruit in the 
Red Cross commission and the labors of Miss Florence 
Nightingale, the hospital nurse. In the autumn of 1855, when 
the siege had lasted nearly a year, the Russians evacuated 

Conclusion. 301 

the town, and the allies marched in. This virtually closed 
the " Crimean War," which was formally terminated by the 
Peace of Paris in March, 1850, in which Russia renounced 
her claims, and Turkey was given a new lease of life. 

In the summer of 1857 England stood aghast at the tid- 
ings from India. That immense and populous empire was gov- 
erned by the East India Company, whose military force con- 
sisted almost entirely of native troops, or " Sepoys," officered 
by Englishmen. On Sunday, May 10, 1857, the Sepoys at 
Meerut mutinied, and killed their officers. The rumor had 
spread among them that the British had designs on their re- 
ligion; that the greasy cartridges of their new Enfield rifles 
were smeared with a mixture of cow's fat and hog's lard — the 
cow being the sacred animal of the Hindu and the hog the 
unclean beast of the Mohammedan. The mutineers pro- 
claimed the native king of Delhi emperor of India, and 
called upon their countrymen to exterminate the impious En- 
glish. General dissatisfaction with the company's rule fed 
the revolt, which rapidly grew to a fanatical rebellion. Be- 
fore troops could arrive from England the worst had been 
done. At Cawnpore a thousand English of both sexes and 
all ages surrendered themselves to the tender mercies of the 
merciless Nana Sahib. By his orders the retreating garrison 
were shot down, and the women were held in captivity until 
General Havelock's approach, when they were butchered. 
This Massacre of Cawnpore took place June 27, 1857. In 
September the English took Delhi by storm, and deposed the 
Mogul emperor. A horde of rebels surrounded Lucknow, 
held by Sir Henry Lawrence with a few loyal soldiers and 
the English residents. In September General Havelock cut 
his way through the ring of the besiegers and brought timely 
relief to the garrison. But the ring closed up behind him, 
and his little army was saved from massacre two months later 
by the arrival of Sir Colin Campbell with troops fresh from 
England. The taking of Lucknow in March, 1858, put an 

302 An Outline History of England. 

end to the mutiny. Parliament relieved the East India Com- 
pany of all its share in the government of the Indian Empire, 
and on September 1, 1858, the sovereignty of the queen was 
proclaimed throughout the peninsula. Thirty years later 
(January 1, 1877) the title "Empress of India" was added 
to the queen's dignities. 

The acute disorder in India was easier to bear than the 
chronic malady of Irish discontent. Irish land, Irish religion, 
and Irish politics have been the triple source of multifarious 
trouble. From Strongbow's first invasion of the island down 
to this present year of Grace, there is scarcely a year when 
Ireland and England have been in harmony. At the 
opening of Victoria's reign the Irish clouds were full of 
menace. Daniel O'Connell, who had led the agitation for 
Catholic emancipation in the last years of George IV., prom- 
ised his countrymen that the early years of Victoria should 
witness the " repeal of the union " — meaning the repeal of the 
act of 1800, which united Ireland with Great Britain under 
the control of Parliament. The Roman Catholics — five 
sixths of the Irish nation — had never become reconciled to 
the union, and the priests and bishops of that Church became 
O'Connell's most active lieutenants in the "repeal campaign." 
His magic eloquence stirred Irish patriotism to its depths. 
The old Celtic hatred of the Saxon flamed up once more, 
and in the re-establishment of the Parliament at Dublin they 
hoped to find a balm for all their wounds. In 1843 the Brit- 
ish government broke up his meetings. When the Irish people 
found that their leader would not fight for Ireland's liberties, 
they deserted him. 

The failure of the island's single crop (potatoes) brought 
famine in its train (1846-1857), and, as the promises of 
O'Connell faded, the Irish felt their miseries increase. The 
spirit of the times — the year 1848 was marked by "liberal" 
uprisings in half the kingdoms of Europe — taught the more 
ardent Irishmen to win by force the independence which 

Conclusion. 303 

O'ConnelPs eloquence had failed to secure. "Young Ire- 
land " was organized in the name of liberty by Smith 
O'Brien, Mitchell, Meagher, and other hot-headed Celts, 
fresh from college or active in journalism. Their reck- 
less newspaper attacks upon the British government com- 
pelled the authorities to suppress them. Some powder 
was burned by the followers, but very little blood was 
spilled. The leaders of this "Rebellion of '48" were con- 
demned for treason and transported to Australia, whence they 
afterward escaped. Secret brotherhoods sprang up in the 
wake of the Young Ireland agitation, the most successful of 
all being the Fenian Association, bearing the historic name 
of the militia of ancient Ireland. This organization nour- 
ished between 1858 and 1867, and was especially aided by the 
Irish-American soldiers of the American Civil War. Its 
head-quarters were in the United States, and the contributions 
of Irish-Americans furnished it with the sinews of war. In 
1867 an attempt was made to raise Ireland in a general insur- 
rection, but it failed utterly ; the execution of a few prisoners 
and the temporary suspension of the habeas corpus act re- 
stored the appearance of peace in the Emerald Isle. 

Mr. William Ewart Gladstone became prime minister in 
1868, and inaugurated a new method of dealing with Ireland. 
His policy was not to allow Ireland to rule herself, but to 
rule her in accordance with Irish ideas. In 1869, the State 
Church of Ireland, which had been forced upon an unwilling 
nation at the time of the English Reformation, was disestab- 
lished. Its government support was removed, and it sank to 
the condition of the Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Wes- 
leyan denominations, as simply a free and independent organ- 
ization. This measure provoked the bitterest denunciations 
from the Irish Protestants. The next year Mr. Gladstone 
attacked the Irish land tenure system. His land law of 1870 
recognized that the tenant had some right to his holding, and 
must be compensated for any improvements which he might 

304 An Outline History of England. 

make. Yet Ireland was not satisfied with these concessions ; 
the cry of " Home Rule " — the restoration of the Irish Par- 
liament — once raised by O'Connell, repeated in the British 
Parliament by Mr. Butt (1870), and afterward (1880) by Mr. 
Parnell. In 1886 Mr. Gladstone became a convert to Home 
Rule, and resigned his office in consequence of his defeat on 
the question in Parliament. Coupled with the Home Rule 
agitation was a plea for further reforms in the land-tenure 
system, but no satisfactory result has been attained, and the 
Irish question, despite the Liberal physicians and the Con- 
servative surgeons, remains an open sore. 

Since the Sepoy mutiny the British colonies have pros- 
pered without serious trouble to the mother country. The 
government of Canada has been consolidated and improved, 
and the Australian colonies have become populous and pros- 
perous States. By wars with the natives, the boundaries of 
the British settlements in South Africa have been extended. 
In Northern Africa Great Britain has gained control of the 
Suez Canal, and exercises a protectorate over Egypt. The 
British Empire comprises 9,250,000 square miles, inhabited 
by 325,000,000 people. 

The legislation of the reign covers a wide field. Cheap 
postage and postal telegraphy, the extension of inland and 
foreign commerce by means of railroads and fast steam-ships, 
the great advance in all departments of manufacture have 
given the government a new set of problems to deal with. 
Peel's Reform Bill of 1832 has been twice extended. In 1867 
the Conservative ministry, in which Lord Derby was chief, 
with Mr. Disraeli as leader in the Commons, carried a reform 
bill which was characterized as " a leap in the dark." It 
greatly lowered the proj)erty qualification for voters, fran- 
chising in boroughs all householders who paid poor tax, and 
lodgers paying at least £10 yearly rent. County voters 
must hold property worth £5 a year, or occupy lands or tene- 
ments of at least £12 yearly rental. This act admitted work- 

Conclusion. 305 

ing-men to full political rights. " Now we must educate the 
men whom we have made our masters," said a member of 
Parliament. In 1870 the Gladstone government established 
a national public school system throughout England and 
Wales, in 1871 the same administration abolished the pur- 
chase of commissions in the army, and in 1872 substituted 
secret ballot for the open method of voting for members of 
Parliament. In Mr. Gladstone's second ministry (1880-1S85) 
a new reform bill made the elective franchise equal through- 
out England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland; adding two 
million to the number of voters, and bringing the whole num- 
ber up to five million, and making the government of 
Great Britain more than ever "a government of the people, 
by the people, and for the people." 


Acre, Siege of, 104. 

Acts of Parliament : Corporation, 244 ; 

Uniformity, 244 ; Conventicle, 244 ; 

Five-Mile, 244; Test. 248; Habeas 

Corpus, 249; Mutiny, 258; Bill of 

Rights, 258; Triennial, 222, 262; 

Settlement, 272; Schism, 269, 270; 

Riot, 272; Septennial, 273; Stamp, 

280 ; Boston Port Bill, 281. 
Addington, Ministry, 2S7. 
Afghanistan, 299. 
Agricola, Cn. J., 37. 
Aidan, 53. 

Albert, Prince-Consort, 295. 
Albion, 30. 

Alfred the Great, 62, 73. 
Alliance, Triple, 247; Grand, 260: Holy, 

Alva, Duke of, 193, 190. 
Amiens, Mise of, 117. 
Angles, 43. 

Anglesey, 14 ; Druid-seat, 35, 36. 
Anlaf, 65. 

Anne, Queen, 264 ; death of, 270. 
Anne Boleyn, 167, 173. 
Annus MirabUis, 246. 
Anselm, 89. 
Antoninus, 39. 
Argyle, Duke of, 223, 252. 
Armada, The Spanish, 199. 
Armed Neutrality, The, 282. 
Arrest of five members, 224. 
Arrow, The lorcha, 298. 
Arthur, 44. 

Arthur of Brittany, 102; death, 108. 
Articles of Religion, forty-two, 181. 
Arvan family, 28. 
Aske, Robert, 170. 
Assize, of Arms, 100; of Clarendon, 100; 

of Northampton, 100; The "Bloody," 

Athelstan, 65. 
Augsburg, League of, 260. 

Bacon, Francis, Lord, 208, 209. 

Bacon, Roger, 118. 

Battles: Baden Hill, 44; Deorham, 45; 
Heaven's Field, 52 ; Winwaed, 53 ; 
Burford, 56 ; Hengestesdnn, 60 ; Ash- 
dune, 62; Brnnanburgh, 66: Stam- 
ford Bridge, 76; Hastings (or Senlac), 
76; Bouvines, 109; Lewes, 117; Ever- 
sham, 117; Stirling, 122; Falkirk, 
122; Bannockburn, 126; Borough- 

bridge, 126; Crecy, 130; Neville's 
Cross, 131; Poitiers, 132; Navarete, 
133; Agincourt, 144; Verneuil, 147; 
Wakefield, 152; St, Albans, 152; 
Northampton, 152; Towton, 152; 
Tew T kesbury, 154 ; Hexham, 154 ; Bos- 
worth Field, 158; Guinegate, 165; 
Flodden Field, 165 ; Solway Moss, 176 ; 
Pinkie, 179; Zutphen, 198; Newburn, 
220; Edgehill, 225; Marston Moor, 
226; Newbury, 227; Nasebv, 228; 
Philiphaugh, 228 ; Stow, 228; Preston 
Pans, 230 ; Dunbar, 232 ; Worcester 
232; Sediremoor, 253; Killiecrankie, 
258 ; Newtown Butler, 259 ; the Boyne, 
260 ; the Hogue, 260 ; Neerwenden, 
262; Blenheim, 266; Ramillies, 266: 
Oudenard, 267; Malplaquet, 267; 
Sheriffmuir, 273 ; Preston Pans, 275 ; 
Falkirk, 275; Culloden, 275; Minden, 
277; Montreal, 277; Plassy, 277; 
Lexington, Concord, 281 ; Bunker's 
Hill, 281; Saratoga,' 282; Yorktown, 
282 ; Cape St. Vincent, 286 ; Camper- 
down, 286; Vinegar Hill, 286: Nile, 
286; Marengo, 2S6 ; Hohenlinden, 
286; Baltic, 287; Trafalgar, 289; 
Austerlitz, 289 ; Talavera, 289 ; Leip- 
zig, 290 ; Waterloo, 290 ; New Orleans, 
291; the Alma, 300; Balaklava, 300; 
Inkerman, 300. 

Ball, John, 138. 

Balliol, John, 120. 

Bank of England, 262. 

Barebones Parliament, 234. 

Baronets, 208. 

Baxter, Richard, 244. 

Beaufort, Bishop Henry, 146. 

Beaufort, Edmund, 150. 

Becket, Thomas, 98. 

Bede, kfc The Venerable/' 56. 

Benevolences, 153, 163, 208. 

Berlin decree, The, 289. 

Bernicia, 45. 

Bertha, Queen of Kent, 50. 

Bible, King James's version, 206. 

Bill of Rights, 258. 

Bishops, excluded from Lords, 224. 

Bishops rejected, Scottish, 218, 219. 

Bishops' Wars, 219, 220. 

Black Death, 138. 

Black Prince, Edward, 130, 135. 

Blake, Admiral, 233. 

Boadicea, 36, 



Bombardment of Copenhagen, 289. 

Bonaparte, Napoleon, 286. 

Bonner, Bloody Bishop, 186. 

Bothwell, Earl of. 193. 

Buckingham beheaded, 158. 

Banyan, John, 228, 244. 

Burgh, Hubert de, 113. 

Burke, Edmund, 280. 

Bute, Lord, 279. 

Braddock's campaign, 277. 

Breda, Declaration of, 240; Treaty of, 246. 

Bretwalda, 46. 

Bright, John, 297. 

British Isles, 13. 

Britons, 28 ; in Caesar's time, 32. 

Brownists, 195. 

Bruce, Robert, 120; the Younger, 124. 

Bruce, David, 129. 

Brunswick-Liiueburg, 271. 

Cabal ministry, 247, 248. 

Cadwallon, 52. 

Caedmon, 55. 

Caesar in Britain, 81. 

Camulodunum, 36. 

Calais taken, 131 ; lost, 187. 

Caledonia, 37. 

Campian, The Jesuit, 195. 

Canada acquired, 279. 

Canning, Georpe, 292. 

Canterbury Tales, 136. 

Canterbury, Archbishopric of, 50. 

Canute, 71. 

Cape of Good Hope, 290. 

Caradoc, 35. 

Carey, Lucius, Lord Falkland, 221. 

Caroline, Queen of England, 274. 

Carr, Robert, Earl of Somerset, 208. 

Cassivelaunus, 32. 

Catharine, Queen of Charles II., 245. 

Catharine of Aragon, 164, 167, 168. 

Catherine de Medici, 190. 

Catholic Emancipation, 212. 

Cavaliers, 225. 

Cawnpore, Massacre of, 301. 

Cecil, Robert, 202,208. 

Cecil, William, Lord Burleigh, 190. 

Celts, 28. 

Cerdic, 44. 

Ceylon, 287. 

Charles I., 208; kirn?, 212; beheaded, 230. 

Charles II. of England, 232 ; restored, 240 ; 

marriage, 24."> ; death, 250. 
Charles Edward Stuart, 275. 
Charles V., 165, 183. 
Charles VII. of France, 1 16. 
Chateau Gaillard, 106, 108. 
Chartism, 296. 
Chaucer, 136. 

Chronicle, The English, 64. 
Churchill, John, 256; treachery, 261. 
Clarendon, Constitutions of, 99. 
Clarendon, Edward Hyde, Earl of, 244. 

Clarence, Duke of, 154, 155. 
Claudius, 35, 

Claverhouse, Graham of, 252 ; death, 258. 

Clement VII., Pope, 167. 

Climate, 17. 

Clive, Robert, 277. 

Cloth of Gold, The Field of the, 166. 

Cobden, Richard, 297. 

Cobbett, William, 293. 

Coke, Sir Edward, 209. 

Commonwealth established, 231. 

" Conformity, Occasional," 273. 

Congress, Continental, 281. 

Conservatives, 294. 

kt Continental System," The, 289. 

Conventicle Act, 214. 

Convention, 239. 

Cook, Captain James, 283. 

Corn Laws, 296 ; repeal of, 297. 

Corporation Act, 244. 

Courtenay, Henry, of Exeter, 171. 

Covenant, The Scottish, 219 ; taken in En- 
gland, 226. 

Covenanters, Persecution of, 252. 

Coverdale's Bible, 172. 

Cranmer, Archbishop, 168, 179, 185. 

Crimean War, 300. 

Cromwell, Oliver, 213, 217; colonel, 225; 
army leader, 230 ; in Ireland and 
Scotland, 232; Lord Protector, 235; 
death, 239. 

Cromwell, Richard, 237. 

Cromwell, Thomas, 168. 

Crusades, First, 90. 

Cumberland, Duke of, 275. 

Cumberland, Ernest, Duke of, 295. 

Cunobelin, 35. 

Cuthred, 56. 

Cymri, 29. 

Cynric, 44. 

Danby, Thomas Osborne, Earl of, 248, 255. 

Dane-geld, 70. 

Dane-law, 63, 65. 

Danes, 56 ; in Ireland, 60 ; in England, 60 ; 

massacre of, 71 ; conquer England, 

Darnley, Henry, Lord, 192. 
Declaration of Liberty of Conscience. The, 

Declaration of Rights, 257. 
Defender of the Faith, 172. 
Deira, 45. 

Despenser, Huirh le, 125. 
Devereux, Robert, Earl of Essex, 200, 201. 
Disestablishment of Irish Church, 303. 
Disraeli, Benjamin, 297. 
Divine Right of Kings, 206. 
Divorce of Henry VIII., 167. 
Doomsday Booh, 86. 
Douglas, James, 193. 
Dover, Secret treaty of, 247. 
Drake, Sir Francis, 197, 198, 199, 200. 
Drogheda, Storming of, 232. 
Druids, 33. 
Dryden, John, 246. 
Dudley, John, Earl of Warwick and 

Northumberland, 182. 



Dudley, Robert, Karl of Leicester, 197. 
Dudley, Lord Guilford, 18S 
Dunkirk, Sale of, S 

Duple. \ 

Aversion of, 51 

Eastern Qui - 899. 

s - 
Bdbald of Nortnumbria, 
Edgar, 69. 

Edgar the Atheling, 75. 
Edith, 74. 
Edmund Ironside, 

Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, 138. 
Edmuud the Magnificent, 

Edward the Confess 
Edward the I 
Edward l.. " Longsnanks," 117; death, 

Kdward the Martyr. 70. 
Edward II.. of Carnarw . 
Edward III., of Windsor, 

Edward v., 156. 

Edward VL, 178, ITT. 

Edward, son of Henry VL, ISO, 155. 

Edwm of Northumberlan I 

Edwin and Morcar, Revolt of, 79, 

Edwy. - 

Egbert of Wessex, 

Elinbeth, Queen of Bohemia, 909, on. 

. eth, Queen of Henry VII., u 

Elizabeth. Queen. 169, 308. 

Saxon King, 44. 
Emma of Normand 
Emperor and Dudley. 164. 

sh, 4-3; religion. 46; government, 

47 ; eonve: - ; system com- 

pared with Norm.. 

Essex. 4o; conversion of , 50, 

Ethelhald of Wessex. 60. 

Ethelbert of Kent. 50. 

Ethelburga of Northumberland, 51. 

Ethelfled. iM. 

Ethehvd of Morel.-.. 

Ethelred I. of Wessex. 60. 

Ethehvd II.. the Unready, 70. 

Etheiwoif of Wessex 

. Prince of Savoy, ^k>. 

Excise I'ax. . 

Fairfax. Sir Thomas, 886, 837. 
Famine in Ir 

Fenian Lss 
Feudal Syste 
Finch. Speato 

Fisher. Bishop of Rochester, 169. 
Five-Mile Act. 944, 

sbern, William. 79, 
Vox. Charles James, 
Frederick the Great) 

Free Trade. 896. 
3, 118. 

3, 89, 

Gardiner, Bishop. 176, 179. 

i. aunt. John of, 133, 140. 

Gaveston, Tiers. 185, 

Geddes, Jenni . B 

Genealogies : Norman Pukes, 70 : House 
of Oerdic, 61 ; English sovereigns, 
9-12; Danish kings, it; House of 
Godwin, 74; Edward's claim to 
French crown, 160; Descent of 
Henry iv.. 141 ; Lancaster and York, 
151; Spanish succession. 866; Han- 
over or Brunswick, 

Geoffrey, son of Henry U., 101, 

George L, 869 : died, 

George II., 874. 

George 111.. 878; death of. 891. 

George IV., regent, 284; king, 891; death. 

. Prince of Denmai 

Gibraltar taken. 866, 869. 
3 me, w. f... 897. 

Glenooe, Massaciv . 

Glendower, 14.C. 


. - i 


Gordon. Lord George, 888. 

Grand Alliance. 860; renewed, 864. 

Ft rand Jury. 100, 

Grattan's Parliament, 878 

Great Britain, 15, 

Great Contract. The, 

Gregory vn. (Hildebrand . B4, 

Gregory the Great, " , 

Grenviile. Lord George, 

Grey, Lady Jane, 164, 

Grey, Lady Elizabeth, 154. 

Guthrum the Dane. 68. 

Gwyn, Nell, i 

Habeas Corpus Ac:. 

Hadrian. 88. 

Hampden, John, 81 

Hampton Court Conference . 

Hanover, 869; Genealogy, 

Hanover, separated from England, 895. 

Sardicanute, 78. 

Barley, R rtwrt, - B, 873. 

Harold. tt. 

Harold, sou of Godwin, 7o. 

Harold Hardrada, 7o. 

Hastings the Pane. 

Hastings, Warren. . 

Hawkins. J ihn, 197. 

Hengist and Horsa, 43. 

Henrietta Maria. Queen - ... 811, 

Henry III. v of Winchester', 118, 
Henry IV. 

Henry V. ^of Monmouth), 148. 
Henry VI., 145, 140; death. 155. 
Henry VII. u>f EiehtuoikP, 137, 166. 



Henry VIII., 168; divorce, 167; death, 176. 

Henry, the Young King, 101. 

Heptarchy, The Saxon, 45. 

Heresy, Btatute of, 142. 

Hereward, 80. 

Hlbernla, 80. 

High Commission, Court of, 195, 217; 

abolished, 222. 
Hill, Abigail (Lady Masham), 268. 
Holland, Wars with, 245, 247. 
Holy League, The, it.. 
Holy Isle, i"'. 
Home Rule, Irish, 804. 
Hong Kong, 298. 
Honorius, 40. 
Hotspur, in. 

Howard, Admiral, Lord, 199, 
Howard, Catharine, 174. 
Huguenots, 190, 191; in England, 283. 
Hundred Years' War, The, 129, 1 18. 
Hyde, Edward Lsee Clarendon]; Anne, 

wife of James II., 251. 

Idylls of the King, 45. 

Impositions, 207. 

Independence, Declaration of, 281. 

India Company, British East, chartered, 

202, Conquer Bengal, 277. 
Indulgence, Declaration of, 217, 218. 
Ine, 5B. 

Innocent III., 108. 

Instrument of Government, the, 285. 
Iona, 14 ; St. Columba at, 49. 
Ireland, and Henry II., 100; StrongbOW, 

101 ; Union of England and, 28i . 
Ireton, 282. 

Irish Rebellion of '48, 303, 
Ironsides, Cromwell's, 225. 
Isabella, Infanta of Spain, 209, 211. 
Jacobite, 208; rising of '15, 272; rising 

of '45, 275. 
Jamaica, 230. 
.James I. born, 192; King of Scots, 193; 

King of England, 202. 
James II., Duke of York, 240 ; in navy, 240 ; 

resigns, 248; recalled, 250; king, 251; 

deposed, 250; died, 264. 
James Francis Edward Stuart born, 251. 
Jennings, Sarah (Churchill), 205. 
Jesuits, 189, 195. 
Joan of Arc, 147. 
John, 101 ; king, 107; quarrel with pope, 

108; death, 111. 
John, Duke of Bedford, 140. 
Junius, Letters of, 280. 
Jutes, 43, 

Kent, Landing of Romans in, 31 ; Jutisb 

kingdom of, 43. 
Ket, Robert, 181. 

"Kingmaker, The, 1 ' See Warwick, 151. 
Kirke's Lambs, 253. 
Knox, John, 193. 

Laborers, Statutes of, 138. 
Lancaster, House of, 151. 

Lancaster, Thomas, Earl of, 125. 

Land law, Irish, 808, 

Language, Rise of English, 185. 

Langton, Archbishop Stephen, iuh. 

Lanfranc, 84. 

Latimer, Hugh, 180. 185. 

Laud, Archbishop, 215, 222, 227. 

League, The, 197. 

Leo iv., Pope, 62. 

Leofrlc, 73. 

Liberals, 294. 

Lichfield, Archbishopric of, 57. 

Light Brigade, Charge of , 300. 

Lindlsfarne, 53; 55. 

Lionel, Luke of Clarence, 137. 

Lollards, 130; laws against, 142. 

Londlnlum, 37. 

London, lire, 266; plague, 266. 

Londonderry, Siege of, 259. 

Longchamp, William, lot. 

Lontf Parliament, elected, 221 ; purged, 

230; dissolved, £34 ; finally dissolved, 

Lords, House of, abolished, 280. 
Louis XIV., 245; pensions Charles [I., 247; 

subsidizes James If., 252. 
Lucknow, Defense of, 301. 
Luddites, 291. 
Luther, Martin, 171. 

Magna Charta, 110. 

.Major-Geuerals, The, 230. 

Manchester massacre, The, 292. 

Mansfield's expedition, 211. 

Manufactures, 284. 

Mar, Earl of, 272. 

Margaret, queen of Henry VI., 149, 153. 

Margaret the Athellng, 75, 89; 

Marlborough, See Churchill, 205, 209. 

Marshall, William, 113. 

Mary, Queen of Scots, 163, 170, r83, 192, 

193, 198. 
Mary, Queen of England, 169, 173, 187. 
Mary, daughter of .James II., marriage, 

2 IS; queen, 257; death, 202. 
Mary of Modena, queen of James II., 251. 
Massachusetts Ray Colony, 216. 
Mercia, 45 ; conversion of, 53. 
Methodist Revival, The, 278. 
Middlesex, 45. 
Milton, John, 244. 
Monasteries, 09, 109. 
Monk, General, 233, 231, 239, 215. 
Monmouth, Duke of, 249; expedition, 253. 
Monopolies abandoned, 202. 
Montague, 201. 
Montfort, Simon de, 115. 
Montrose, Marquis of, 220. 
Moore, Sir John, 289. 
More, Sir Thomas, 109. 
Mortimer, Anne, 150. 
Mortimer, Edmund, 141. 
Mortimer, Roger, 127. 
" Morton's Fork," 103. 
Mutiny Act, 258. 



Nana Sahib, 901. 

Nantes, Revocation of Edict of, 953. 

Newfoundland, S9S8. 

New Model, The. 828, 940. 
Newspapers, 268. 

New York taken from Dutch, 015. 
Nightingale, Florence, 800, 
Nimeguen, Treaty of. 04S. 

" No Popery " riots, OS 3. 
Non-jurors, 957. 
Norfolk, Duke of. 174. 
Normans in Europe, The, 

North, Lord. 861. 

Northumbria. 45 ; conversion of, 51. 

Nova Seotia. 969. 

Gates. Titus. 948. 
O'OonneU, Daniel. OTC. 909. 
Odoof Bayeux, ! 96,88. 

Offa, 56. 

Oldcastle. Sir John, 143. 
Opium War. 998. 
"Ordainers," The. 
Orders in Council, 0S9. 
Ordinances. 994, 
Ostorius, 36. 

Oswald, kin? of Northumbria, 59. 
Oswv of Northumberland, 53. 
'• Other House, The," 887. 
Oxford, Provisions of, HO; University of, 

Palmerstou, Lord, 005. 
Pandulf.109, in. 114. 

Paradise Lout, 044. 

Parsons, the Jesuit. 195. 

Parker, Archbishop, 189. 

Parliament, Great, so-called, 115; Mont- 
fort's, 117; of Edward I., 193; in two 
Houses, 103; the Merciless. 139 ; the 
Addled, 007; the Short, 980; Lonir. 
991 : Rump, 030 ; Barebones. 034 ; 
Corruption of. 079. 

Parr. Catherine, 176. 

" Patriots, Seven." The, 055. 

Paulinus. Suetonius. 36. 

Peel, Sir Robert. 093. 

Pelham. Cabinet of, 075, 976. 

Peuda. kin? of Men-ia, 50. 

Peninsular War. ! 

Pennine Chain, 15. 

Petition, Millenary, The, 004. 

Petition of Rights, The, 014. 

Petre, 858. 

Philip II. of Spain. 184, 1S6, 187. 

Picks. 39. 

Pilgrimage of Grace, 107. 

Pilgrim'* Progress, 044. 

Pitt, W., Lord Chatham. 976, 978, 880. 

Pitt, W. (the Young), 0-3. 888. 

Plautius. Aulus. 35. 

Plots: Ridolfl's, 194; Babington's, 19S ; 
Gunpowder. 906; Popish, 948; Bye 
House, 050 ; Cato Street. 090. 

Popish Plot. - 

Pra?niuuire, Statute of, 141. 

Prayer-book, English. 180. 
Presbyterianism, Established in England, 

836 9tf! 
Presbyterians. 005 ; Scottish. 01S. 999. 
Pretender, The Young, 875. 
Pretender, The Old, OtVj, 968, 979, 897, 

Pride's Purge, 990. 
"Protestation. The," 010. 
Prvnue, William. 017. 
Puritans. 194, 904. 
Pvm, John. 013,001. 003. 
Pytheas, 30. 

Bagnor, Lodhrog, 0(3. 

Raleigh, Sir Walter. 001, 010. 

Ranulf, Flambard, SS. 

Banulf, Glanville, 109. 

Kedwald. of East Amrlia, 51. 

Reform Bill. 994. 

Reformation. English, 168, 170. 180. 

Remonstrance, The Grand, 003. 

Restoration. 040. 

Revolution. The French. - 

Revolution of 'SS. 957. 

Richard I., 101 : kiue, 103 ; death. 107. 

Richard II., 137. 

Richard III.. 155, 15S. 

Richard. Duke of York. 150. 

Richard. " Kim: of the Romans," 115. 

Ridlev, ISO, 1S5. 

Rizzio, Murder of, 193. 

Robert. Duke of Normandy, S5, 90. 

Roches. Peter des. 113. 

Roehelle, Expedition to, 013. 

Bockingham, Ministry, 880, 0S1. 

Rogers, John, 

Roman Invasion, SI ; Conquest, 95-36'; 

Evacuation. 40 ; Influence, 41. 
Roses. Wars of the, 150, 15S. 
Roundheads, 005. 

Rump. The. 030, 031. 034 ; dissolved. 039. 
Rupert, Prince, 005, 006, 04(3. 
Bunnymede, no. 
Russell, Lord John, 294. 
Rye House Plot, 050. 

St. Augustine, 50. 

St. Bartholomew, Massacre of, 196. 

St. Chad, 53. 

St. Cuthbert, 53. 

St. Dunstan, 6S. 

St. Edmund. 68. 

St. John, Henrv, Lord Bolinebroke. 968, 

St. Patrick, 49. 

Saint's Best, 944. 

Sarsfleld, Patrick, 060. 

Saxons. 39. 

Scone, Stone of, 181. 

Scotland. 88; Del of England, 109; inde- 
pendent, 104. 

Scots, 39. 

Scutaee, 99. 

Sebastopol, Siege of, 300. 

Seminary Priests, 195. 



Separatists, 195. 
Sepoy Revolt, The, 801. 

en Bishops," The, 254. 

Seven Years' War, 276. 

Severn, 16. 

Severus, 89. 

Seymour, Edward, 178. 

Seymour, Jane, 173. 

Shaftesbury, Ashley Cooper, Earl of, 217, 

248, 249. 
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 282. 
Ship-money, The, 210. 
Shires, ik. 

Shrewsbury, Duke of. 270. 
Sidney, sir Philip, 198. 
Slmnel, Lambert, 161. 
Si ward, 72. 

Six Articles, 172; repeal, 180. 
I rery abolished, :.'.»"-. 
si. ,-e-trade abolished, 291. 
Somerset. (8ee Edward Seymour.) 
Sophia of Hanover, 268. 
South Sea Bubble, 269, 27:;. 
k 'Spurs, The Battle of the," 165. 
Stafford, Edward, 166. 
Star ('handier, 163, 216; abolished, 222. 
Btonehenge, 24, 35. 
Strafford 'see Wentworth). 
Strathclyde, 40; conquered, 50. 
Sunderland, 201. 
Sussex, 44. 
Sweyn, 71. 

"Tables, The," 219. 

Talbot, Richard, Earl of Tyrconnel, 259. 

Taylor, Rowland, 1*5. 

Temple, Sir William, 247. 

Test Act, 248. 

Thames, 16, 21. 

Theaters of Restoration, 244. 

Theodore of Tarsus, 54. 

Theodosius, 40. 

Theresa, Empress Maria, 275. 

Thirty-nine Articles, The, 192. 

Thirty Years' War, 210. 

Thistlewood, Arthur, 293. 

>b Thorough," Stafford's policy of, 215. 

Tilbury, Elizabeth's speech at, 199. 

Tin Islands, 30. 

Tonnage and Poundage, 102. 

Tower. Princes murdered in the, 150. 

Tory, 249. 

Treaties: Wedmore, 03; Northampton, 
128; Troves, 145; Breda, 210; Dover 
(secret), 247 ; Nimeguen, 2 18 ; Limerick, 
260; Ryswick, 262; Utrecht, 269; Aix- 
la-Chapelle. 2:5; Paris, 270; Campo 
Forinio, 28(5; Liineville, 280; Amiens, 
287 ; Tilsit, 289 ; Paris, 301. 

Trent, Council of, 175. 

Tudors, Origin of, 157. 

Tyler, Wat, 138. 

Tyndale, William, 172. 

Tyrone's Irish revolt, 201. 

Ulster, Massacre of 
Uniformity, Act of, 211. 
" United Irishmen," 286. 
United States, 281. 

Vane, sir .'fan 


Vespasian, •".<;. -':7. 

Victoria, Queen, 295; Empress, 802. 

Vienna, Congress of, 290. 

Vikings, 59. 

Timers, George, jjuk.i of Buckingham, 

208; death, 211. 
Vortigern, 43. 

Wales, Annexation of, 120; Incorporated 
with England, 177. 

Wallace, William, 121. 

Walpole, Robert, 274. 

Walsingham, Sir Erancis, Vm. 

Walter, Hubert, 105, 108. 

Warbeck, Perkln, 161. 

Warwick, Earl of, 152,151. 

War, Hundred Years', 129, 

War of Spanish Succession, 263. 

W T ar, Second, of United States with En- 
gland, 291. 

Washington, George, 270,281. 

Wellington, 289. 

Welsh, origin of name, 41. 

Wentworth, Sir Thomas, Earl of Strafford, 
213,215; beheaded, 222. 

Wesleys, The, 

Wessex, 44; conversion of, 53 ; supremacy 
of, 58. 

Westminster Assembly, 227. 

Wexford, Massacre of, 232. 

Whig, 211). 

Whip of Six Strings, 172. 

Whitby, Synod of, 54. 

Wiclif, John, 130. 

Wight, Isle of, 14. 

Wilkes, John, 279. 

William If. (Rufus), 87. 

William III., 257. 

William IV., 293. 

William of Malmesbury, 05. 

William of Normandy, 74 ; king of En- 
gland, 177 ; death, 87. 

William of Orange, stadthoHer, 247 ; 
marriage, 248; in England, 250; king, 
257; death, 20}. 

William the Silent, 190, 197. 

Winchelsey, Archbishop, 123. 

Witenagemot, 47. 81. 

Wolfe. General, 277. 

Wolsey, Thomas, Cardinal, 105, 167. 

Wykeham, William of, 134. 

York, archbishopric of, 54. 
York, House of, 151. 
" Young Ireland," 303. 

H 66 891 


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